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CUSTOMER RESEARCH

For our customers we will deliver an Australian cotton industry that captures the full value of its products.

For customers of Australian cotton, from ginners right along the supply chain to purchasers of apparel, the next decade will see significant change. The availability of quality raw materials, innovation in manmade fibres and rising consumer awareness of sustainability issues will be the driving forces for structural changes in the textile market. The challenge for Australian cotton is to continue to grow its competitive advantage and meet current and future customer demands in a time of significant change in the textile market.

The Customers program focuses on Assured Cotton, Differentiated Products and Competitive Futures as the three key themes which will enable Australian cotton products to meet customer needs and prepare for future markets.

Measure of Success

Double the premium for Australian cotton.

Theme 3.1 Assured Cotton

Sustainability of raw material production and processing practices have become important attributes by which consumers assess the value and integrity of products. For the cotton industry this has meant that there are greater demands for transparency regarding the social, environmental and economic impacts of cotton production as well as increasing consumer desires to purchase products which are traceable and proven to be sustainably produced. Non-government, government and industry organisations have responded by developing a range of programs that focus on ensuring the integrity of products being promoted to consumers. Australian cotton will be increasingly asked to demonstrate its production qualities and this is an opportunity for increased promotion as well as public scrutiny of the industry’s performance. This theme works towards demonstrating the qualities of Australian cotton by developing full transparency and traceability of Australian cotton along the supply chain.

Theme 3.2 Differentiated Products

The Australian cotton industry successfully competes against subsidised cotton producers in a global textile market on the basis of continuous improvements in yield and fibre quality as well as the use of best practice systems acrossthe supply chain. Australian cotton has some competitive advantages that it uses well and others that are yet to be fully exploited such as premium quality and traceability. Increasing global competition for high quality cotton is creating the driver for change. Producers and customers in the value chain for Australian cotton are seeking to create added-value by producing and marketing evolved, and new, premium cotton products and services. This theme looks to create opportunities to fully exploit current advantages of Australian cotton while also opening up other opportunities for Australian cotton to be differentiated on the world market.

Theme 3.3 Competitive Futures

The historical advantages of yield and quality are under threat as Australian varieties become globally accessible and competitors catch up. In the future, cotton is likely to face new challenges from man-made fibres due to their greater product consistency, the predictability and competitiveness of their prices, the enormous investments in expanding the man-made fibre sector and the emergence of new uses of man-made fibres. Continued innovation will be needed to maintain the competitiveness of Australian cotton not only in the cotton market but also the textile market more generally. The Competitive Futures theme will aim to transform the way in which consumers demand Australian cotton products and continue to make it competitive.

The Customers research program is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Managers: Allan Williams (Assured cotton, Differentiated products ) and Ian Taylor (Competitive futures).

The integrity and qualities of Australian cotton set global benchmarks for customers.

Sustainability of raw material production and processing practices have become important attributes by which consumers assess the value and integrity of products. For the cotton industry this has meant that there are greater demands for transparency regarding the social, environmental and economic impacts of cotton production as well as increasing consumer desires to purchase products which are traceable and proven to be sustainably produced. Non-government, government and industry organisations have responded by developing a range of programs that focus on ensuring the integrity of products being promoted to consumers. Australian cotton will be increasingly asked to demonstrate its production qualities and this is an opportunity for increased promotion as well as public scrutiny of the industry’s performance. This theme works towards demonstrating the qualities of Australian cotton by developing full transparency and traceability of Australian cotton along the supply chain.

We will achieve this by:

  • Improving Australian fibre quality testing standards and procedures and the capacity to measure and manage contamination.
  • Supporting the development and implementation of post farm gate BMPs.
  • Developing and implementing a standardised reporting system for Australian cotton product quality and traceability.
  • Benchmarking Australian cotton against key international programs for product stewardship and sustainability.

Measures of success:

Customers have confidence in the integrity of Australian cotton

  • Australia has the best ranking for non-contamination in The International Textile Manufacturers Federation (ITMF) survey.
  • Customers recognise and use Australia’s BMP standards as their guarantee of quality assurance.
  • Australia uses standardised reporting systems for product quality and traceability for farmers, industry and customers.
  • Australia can respond to customer needs for reporting sustainability indicators.


The Assured cotton theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Allan Williams. For more information, contact us.

Customers recognise the differentiated value of Australian cotton products.

The Australian cotton industry successfully competes against subsidised cotton producers in a global textile market on the basis of continuous improvements in yield and fibre quality as well as the use of best practice systems across the supply chain. Australian cotton has some competitive advantages that it uses well and others that are yet to be fully exploited such as premium quality and traceability. Increasing global competition for high quality cotton is creating the driver for change. Producers and customers in the value chain for Australian cotton are seeking to create added-value by producing and marketing evolved, and new, premium cotton products and services. This theme looks to create opportunities to fully exploit current advantages of Australian cotton while also opening up other opportunities for Australian cotton to be differentiated on the world market.

We will achieve this by:

  • Identifying opportunities for improvements in fibre quality and cotton products.
  • Demonstrating the value of different fibre classes and defining fibre quality parameters that secure a premium market.
  • Developing customer-based partnerships for the development of higher value and novel products, which differentiate Australian cotton.

​Measures of success:

Customers value the qualities of Australian cotton

  • New fibre classification systems established.

  • Partnerships established to demonstrate the potential for differentiating Australian cotton. 


The Differentiated products theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Allan Williams. For more information, contact us. 

The demand for Australian cotton products is positively transformed.

The historical advantages of yield and quality are under threat as Australian varieties become globally accessible and competitors catch up. In the future, cotton is likely to face new challenges from manmade fibres due to their greater product consistency, the predictability and competitiveness of their prices, the enormous investments in expanding the manmade fibre sector and the emergence of new uses of manmade fibres. Continued innovation will be needed to maintain the competitiveness of Australian cotton not only in the cotton market but also the textile market more generally. The Competitive Futures theme will aim to transform the way in which consumers demand Australian cotton products and continue to make it competitive.

We will achieve this by:

  • Investigating existing and future markets for Australian cotton and communicate these findings to the Australian Cotton Industry.
  • Facilitating the development of new technologies and systems to improve the competitiveness of Australia cotton.
  • Provide the Australian Cotton Industry with knowledge of fabric innovations and future market opportunities.
  • Development of alternative and high value cotton products.

​Measures of success:

Customers continue to demand Australian cotton products. 

The Competitive Futures theme is managed by CRDC’s R&D Program Manager, Ian Taylor. For more information, contact us.