U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Selects Control Union Certifications as Third-Party Verification Partner

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MEMPHIS, TENN. – (May 11, 2020) – The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol) has selected Control Union Certifications North America (CUC) to implement an independent, third-party verification program for the Trust Protocol system. CUC was chosen from six applicants following a thorough selection process. 

Data about Trust Protocol cotton is proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator and now will be verified by CUC.  

Control Union Certifications has certified more than 150 programs worldwide, including working as a key partner in the early development and piloting phases of Field to Market’s Impact Claim Verification Protocol. CUC has also worked with the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) on its third-party verification programs in multiple countries. 

CUC auditors in the U.S. have a long history of working with corn, soy and canola on standards focused on land conversion, irrigation systems, water management, integrated pest management, soil protection, crop rotation and conservation practices.

U.S. cotton growers will complete a self-assessment of farming practices and share their field data through Field to Market’s Fieldprint Platform. The CUC will verify the Trust Protocol annual data that will highlight key sustainability metrics – land use, soil carbon, water management, soil loss, greenhouse gas emissions and energy efficiency.

“We’re excited to work with Control Union as our independent, third-party verification partner,” said Ken Burton, Executive Director of the Trust Protocol. “Control Union’s agriculture standards, experience and impeccable reputation will provide brands, retailers and consumers assurance that the cotton fiber sourced through the Trust Protocol is continually improving.”

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will launch in June 2020. Ahead of the June launch date, the Trust Protocol was recently added to Textile Exchange’s list of preferred fibers and materials. For more information, please visit https://TrustUsCotton.org.

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About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol

In a period of ever greater supply chain scrutiny and a growing demand for transparency, the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol will set a standard for more sustainably grown cotton. It brings quantifiable and verifiable goals and measurement to the issue of sustainable cotton production and drives continuous improvement in key sustainability metrics.

The Trust Protocol underpins and verifies U.S. cotton’s progress through sophisticated data collection and independent third-party verification. Becoming a member of the Trust Protocol will give brands and retailers the data that provides critical assurances they need that the cotton fiber element of their supply chain is more sustainable, and free from both environmental and social risk. Brands and retailers will gain access to U.S. cotton with sustainability credentials proven via Field to Market, measured via the Field Calculator and verified with Control Union Certifications. 

The U.S. Cotton 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. 

About Control Union Certifications

CUC is an international auditing company founded in the Netherlands in 2002, and now has a presence in 70 countries with 4,500 employees and over 40,000 clients worldwide, ranging from multinationals to regional producers as well as governments and NGOs. The company has a long track record of managing certification programs, including with growers and food and agriculture companies around the world. CUC is a leader in the area of sustainability initiatives, certification standards and verifications of the outcomes based on key performance indicators.