Lubbock To Host U.S. House Agriculture
Committee Farm Bill Hearing on May 17

Friday, May 7, 2010                                   By Shawn Wade

      Last week's announcement that Lubbock, Texas and the 19th Congressional District had been selected to host one of eight regional field hearings scheduled by the U.S. House of Representatives Committee on Agriculture was great news to West Texas agriculture interests.

      Now the region will have the opportunity to put its best foot forward and showcase both the importance and diversity of agriculture in one of the most important agricultural production regions of the United States.

      The Lubbock hearing will be conducted Monday, May 17, 2010 beginning at 9:00 a.m. at the Texas Tech Museum on the Texas Tech University campus. The museum is located at 4th Street and Indiana Avenue in Lubbock.

      The hearing's purpose is to gather input on the future of agriculture policy relative to the 2012 farm bill.

      Lubbock Congressman Randy Neugebauer, a member of the House Agriculture Committee, says that hosting the hearing is a unique opportunity for the entire Lubbock-area community to demonstrate its support of agriculture and its understanding of the significant positive impact that agriculture has on the region's economy.

      "Even though this is a busy time of year for farmers, I strongly encourage everyone to make time to come to the Lubbock hearing and show my fellow Committee members just how important agriculture and farming are to the Lubbock region and to the citizens of the state of Texas," says Neugebauer. "This is an opportunity that doesn't come around very often and it will be an excellent opportunity to see and hear first-hand the exchange of information that will help frame the 2012 Farm Bill debate."

      Plains Cotton Growers, Inc. President Brad Heffington, of Littlefield, Texas, has been invited to present testimony to the Committee at the Lubbock hearing. A full list of witnesses will be released prior to the hearing.

      In a statement announcing the hearing Neugebauer said, "It is an honor to host a field hearing in Lubbock to discuss with local farmers and ranchers what's working in agriculture policy and what needs to be improved. This is a great opportunity for producers in West Texas to share their vision for agriculture policy."

      Neugebauer concluded, "The Agriculture Committee is holding these hearings around the nation to hear directly from farmers, and as one of the most productive and diverse agriculture areas of the country, I look forward to hearing what Texas producers have to say."

      Intent upon getting a head start on developing ideas for the 2012 Farm Bill House Agriculture Committee (HAC) Chairman Collin C. Peterson (D-MN) announced the start of the hearing process and locations for eight full HAC Hearings at locations across the United States last week.

      The announced hearing schedule began April 30 in Des Moines, Iowa and includes the following locations: Nampa, Idaho (May 1); Fresno, California (May 3); Laramie, Wyoming (May 4); Morrow, Georgia (May 14); Troy, Alabama (May 15); Lubbock (may 17; and Sioux Falls, South Dakota (May 18).






International Buyers Travel to
Bangladesh to Meet COTTON USA Suppliers

SPECIAL – May 6, 2010 - Despite disruptions created by the erupting volcano in Iceland, as well as tough economic conditions, the weeklong COTTON USA Supply Chain Marketing Buyers Tour to Bangladesh attracted buyers representing British, French, Italian, German, Japanese, Turkish and U.S. brands and retailers. The tour enabled buyers to meet with leading Bangladeshi suppliers of U.S. cotton-rich garments. During the tour, consisting of a two- day trade fair followed by two days of mill visits, the buyers met individually with 17 COTTON USA licensees and visited six factories.

         "I found the COTTON USA Buyers Tour in Bangladesh very interesting and well organized," said Nicoletta Genoni, Buyer, Children's Wear Artsana (Chicco). "It was an excellent idea to meet in one location with several suppliers, enabling us to optimize our time. We visited the most significant suppliers in terms of production typology that match best with our company. It was an extremely interesting opportunity to start up new business contacts there."

         This was the first COTTON USA Supply Chain Marketing Buyers Tour to Bangladesh, which was chosen for the growing use of U.S. cotton and increasing interest among the buyer and retailer community. Bangladesh is the fourth largest apparel exporting country in the world, experiencing 91 percent growth from 2004-08. It is the largest exporter of cotton T-shirts and the second largest exporter of cotton pullovers and denim trousers to the EU.

         The tour began with a briefing session that included presentations from CCI, Cotton Incorporated, the Bangladesh Textile Mills Association, and the Bangladesh Garment Manufacturers and Exporters Association. The group also heard from Li & Fung, the world's largest sourcing company, about their experiences in sourcing from Bangladesh.

         Bangladeshi suppliers participating in the private trade show ranged from vertically integrated spinning mills to key customers of U.S. cotton rich yarns and fabrics including: Apex Textile Printing Mills Ltd, Benetex Industries Ltd, Bengal Knittex, Far East Knitting and Dyeing Industries Ltd, Generation Next Fashions Ltd, the Givensee Group, Grameen Knitwear, Greenland Garments, Karim Spinning Mills, Karooni Knits (Shamsuddin), Knit Asia (Malek & Salek), Matin Spinning Mills, Reedish Spinning, the Rising group, Sea Tex, Square Fashions and Viyellatex. All companies are COTTON USA Mark licensees and either spin U.S.- grown cotton or use yarns or fabrics supplied from COTTON USA licensed mills.

         With a combined buying volume of over a billion dollars, participating retailers included: Japan: AIC, Akachan Honpu, Itochu, Nissen, and Sumitex; UK: Dewhirts; France: Decathlon/Oxylane; Italy: Artsana, Il Gigante, Maglificio Fontana, Unitessile; U.S.: Charming Shoppes, VF Corporation; Turkey: TYH; Sweden: Hennes & Morritz (H&M); and Germany: KL Ruppert. Evaluation surveys are currently being collected from buyers and suppliers; however, initial feedback from buyers indicates they are more willing to source from Bangladesh since the tour and that many anticipate doing business with companies they met on the tour in the next 12 months.