The US Cotton Trust Protocol’s expanded team will help field-level growers with finalising their Trust Protocol enrolment, data entry, and facilitating applications for the Climate Smart Cotton Programme, which closes on 30 April.

The field-level grower enrolment specialists will also provide industry resources and networks and will customise their services according to the unique needs of the cotton belt region they serve.

Charles “Chaz” Holt is the director of field programmes and will lead the team alongside Tillman White, who takes on the role of programme manager.

Supporting the leadership team are field-level grower enrolment specialists Bailey Nesmith for the High Plains & West Region, Willis Frazer for the MidSouth, and Maryn Findley for the Southeast.

“Each region of the cotton belt presents its own distinct set of opportunities and challenges, with no one-size-fits-all approach to production,” said Daren Abney, executive director of the US Cotton Trust Protocol.

“Our field-level team is available to offer regionally relevant support to growers as they make continuous improvements. This momentum builds upon the growth in our global supply chain membership, which now includes 40+ companies and their brands, alongside more than 2,000 mill and manufacturer members.”

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Initiated in 2023, the Climate Smart Cotton Program, which closes for applications at midnight on 30 April, offers financial and technical support to mitigate risks associated with climate smart agriculture practices, potentially reducing costs and enhancing efficiencies. For brands and retailers, it aims to facilitate greenhouse gas emissions reductions and improve reporting.

In the 2023 crop year, over 1.7m planted cotton acres were enrolled in the Trust Protocol, representing nearly a quarter (23%) of the cotton belt. The Trust Protocol explained that growers who completed enrolment during 2023 will need to re-enrol for the 2024 crop year.

The Climate Smart Cotton Program is said to have already approved applications for 778 farming entities in Level 1 out of the 1,650 available, including 330 from historically underserved communities.

In February the Trust Protocol’s 2023 annual report revealed that its grower membership had tripled since 2020.