Total area of enrolled planted cotton acres grows by a further 25%

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  • 1.6m planted cotton acres enrolled for the 2023 crop year; 
  • Increase of 25% on previous year; 
  • Continued expansion for fourth consecutive year 

MEMPHIS, TENN (October 25, 2023) – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is today announcing an increase of 25% compared to 2022 in the total area of planted cotton acres enrolled in the program, reaching 1.6 million acres in 2023 – its greatest extent to date. 

This represents not only impressive growth in enrolled cotton acreage in a single year but also the fourth successive year of continued expansion of enrolled cotton acres. The 1.6m planted acres enrolled in the Trust Protocol represents 16% of all planted U.S. cotton acres in 2023. 

Today’s announcement therefore marks a key milestone in the growth and development of the program and means that an ever-increasing amount of more sustainably-grown cotton is available for brand and retailer members to access.   

“We continue to be inspired and encouraged to see that U.S. cotton growers have once again expanded the number of planted acres enrolled in the program, underscoring their unwavering commitment to ongoing improvement,” said Daren Abney, Executive Director of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol.  “With the growing number of enrolled acres, we’re making even more environmentally responsible cotton accessible to our brand and retailer members for sourcing.  The Trust Protocol team is excited to support our members in their more responsible sourcing practices.”  

Brand and retailer members can track both U.S. Cotton and Protocol Cotton through the Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) and claim Protocol Consumption Units (PCCUs).  Protocol Cotton is grown and harvested on Protocol farms and 1 PCCU is minted for each kilogram of Protocol Cotton in the system.  To date, 970 million PCCUs are available to be consumed in the PCMS, which is equivalent to 4.45 million bales of cotton.   

The Trust Protocol’s vision is to set a new standard in sustainable cotton production where full transparency is a reality and continuous improvement is the central goal. The program’s core values include a commitment to U.S. cotton’s legacy of authenticity, innovation and excellence, environmental stewardship, caring of people, and personal and corporate integrity. The program currently has more than 1,800 supplier members over 40 companies and brands including global brands and retailers such as Ralph Lauren, Gap, Levi Strauss & Co. and J.Crew.  

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is aligned with the UN Sustainable Development Goals, recognized by Textile Exchange and Forum for the Future, and part of the Sustainable Apparel Coalition, Cotton 2025 Sustainable Cotton Challenge, Cotton 2040 and Cotton Up initiatives. It has also been recognized and published in the ITC Standards Map, recognized as a standard for sustainable cotton by the Partnership for Sustainable Textiles, and is an ISEAL Community Member.  


About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol  

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol is a voluntary, farm level science-based sustainability program that is setting a new standard for delivering value to all stakeholders across the entire supply chain from farms to finished products. It is the only system that provides quantifiable, verifiable goals and measurement and drives continuous improvement in six key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions, and energy efficiency.  It is also the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber program to offer article-level supply chain transparency to all members.     

The Trust Protocol is overseen by a multi-stakeholder Board of Directors comprised of representatives from brands and retailers, civil society and independent sustainability experts as well as the cotton-growing industry, including growers, ginners, merchants, wholesalers and cooperatives, mills and cottonseed handlers.   

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Andrea Miles,, +1 (213) 300-1507  

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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.