Key Pillars

The program has three main pillars:

Quantifiable, Verifiable Goals and Measurement

The U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol provides farm level data proven via Field to Market, measured by the Fieldprint Calculator, and third-party verified. Data collection and verification contains multiple stages but begins with the grower who voluntarily provides information on their sustainable production practices.

The data reported in 2022/23 was received from growers in 17 states. In 2022/23, the Trust Protocol enrolled 1.7 million acres, representing 23% of the U.S. cotton crop. Findings from 2022/23 Trust Protocol grower members’ aggregate data showed improvements against the 2015 representative group in land use, water use efficiency, energy use, GHG emissions, soil carbon, and soil conservation as well as an increase in yield.

Article-Level Supply Chain Transparency

The Trust Protocol is the world’s first sustainable cotton fiber to offer its members article-level supply chain transparency via the Protocol Platform and the TextileGenesis Platform.

The Protocol Consumption Management Solution (PCMS) harnesses blockchain technology to record and verify the movement of U.S. Cotton along the entire supply chain beginning at the gin. The PCMS is a Verified Trackable Equivalency Solution which assures cotton produced on grower members’ farms is used. 

The PCMS creates a transparency map that provides the authenticated origin of U.S. cotton, along with the names and locations of the Trust Protocol mill and manufacturer members that were involved in all parts of the production process, into the finished products that are shipped to the brand or retailer, which may assist customs clearance.

Continuous Improvement

Over the past 35 years, U.S. cotton production has used 79% less water and 54% less energy, reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40%, all while reducing land use by 49%. The adoption of practices such as minimal tillage, GPS and sensor-driven precision agriculture, and the growing of winter cover crops have further improved soil health, reducing loss and erosion by 37% per acre and increasing soil carbon levels. The program is aligned with the U.S. 2025 National Goals for Continuous Improvement and understands that a focus on innovation and technology has enabled the use of techniques such as precision agriculture, cover crops and conservation tillage to reduce environmental impact. The Trust Protocol also upholds several principles for best management practices in common with those found in regenerative systems.


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.