We were also specifically motivated by an appreciation of two key trends: firstly, an awareness of the hard work and commitment of many U.S. cotton growers to the highest environmental and labor standards. Secondly, by an understanding of the growing expectation of brands and retailers to not only provide goods that have highly transparent supply chains and a robust sustainability profile, but to provide the evidence of this too.

At the Trust Protocol, we set out to bring these stakeholders together – to share the work of U.S. cotton growers – showing the world their capability – while assisting them to build on their success to support the U.S. cotton industry to become a world leader in more sustainable cotton. The Trust Protocol sees its role as helping to drive positive change on participating farms. At the same time, we worked to enable brands and retailers across the world to access cotton – a natural fiber– that has a sustainability profile and supply chain that is transparent, and to do so via a system that gave them measurable, quantifiable and verifiable data.

To deliver maximum value, the Trust Protocol was designed to deliver data and supply chain transparency – two highly important elements in sustainability reporting – that have been hard to come by to date. The initiative responds to this need, providing robust data on environmental impact and a system that tracks cotton through the supply chain.

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol was featured in EARTH with John Holden at the end of 2021. The segment details sustainable cotton production in the U.S. and demonstrates how the Trust Protocol brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to sustainable cotton production.

Click here to watch the full segment.

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Deepika Mishra

Standards and Data Lead (consultant)

Deepika Mishra is the Standards and Data Lead for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, acting as a consultant for the program. As an accomplished scientist and data analytics specialist, Deepika leads on analysis of the Trust Protocol’s environmental metrics. She collaborates extensively with agricultural research institutions, conservation groups, and food and trade organizations, playing a vital role in the establishment of sustainability and social standards within the industry.

Deepika earned her Ph.D. in plant and soil science from Texas Tech University, specializing in cotton breeding and genetics. With over a decade of experience, she has spearheaded diverse agricultural projects in both India and the United States, covering crops like cotton, cowpeas, castor, sesame, guar, guayule, tomato, and field pennycress (cover crop). Her contributions also include the development and release of multiple cowpea varieties in India during her M.S. studies in vegetable breeding and genetics.