The International Cotton Advisory Committee (ICAC), an association of governments from cotton producing, consuming and trading countries, is the only global intergovernmental group for cotton and cotton textiles.
With a mission to assist members in fostering a healthy world cotton economy, ICAC continually strives to operate internationally in the interests of the cotton industry. Its role is to raise awareness, provide information, and serve as a catalyst for cooperative action on issues of International significance.
ICAC membership delivers tangible benefits in the form of increased access to statistics and critical technical information provided by the Secretariat, and can lead to enhanced participation in collaborative interactions in cotton research and development.
Perhaps most importantly, membership provides the avenue for a country’s government and cotton industry to fully join with other cotton countries to discuss issues of international scope and significance.
Founded at the International Cotton Meeting in Washington, DC in 1939, and the Secretariat in 1946, the ICAC advocates for cotton producing nations, publishes studies and technical information on the cotton industry, and holds an annual Plenary Meeting of member states.
The nine Secretariat members originate from eight countries and work from an office in Washington, DC. Documents are published in English, French and Spanish, monthly summaries are available in Russian, and annual summaries are available in both Arabic and Russian.
The annual budget is US$1.8 million, of which about 85% comes from members assessments and 15% from the sale of subscriptions and participant fees at meetings and seminars.
ICAC Projects and Initiatives
ICAC has reinvented itself to focus more on innovation and technological solutions to the biggest challenges the global cotton industry faces, including:
- A Soil & Plant Health app that will allow farmers all over the world to identify their specific crop problems, including diseases and pests, while standing in their fields – even if the farmer is illiterate.
- A Virtual Reality training program that will educate cotton researchers and scientists by ‘transporting’ them to cotton fields from all over the world – without ever leaving the classroom.
- The #TruthAboutCotton initiative, a social media project created to counter the misinformation that is so rampant in today’s media.