Pillar 1: Paddock

Theme: Connected market intelligence

Enhance the sustainability, market access and diversity, and value of Australian cotton.

In 2028, Australian cotton growers are preferred suppliers of sustainable cotton.

Retailer, brand, community and investor expectations are evolving. As well as high-quality products, they are demanding better organisational transparency, the adoption and independent certification of more sustainable and ethical practices, and evidence of reductions in environmental impact. Some jurisdictions have already regulated aspects of the textile supply chain. This move to greater regulation and supply chain due diligence will continue and reach back to raw material production, including cotton farming.

As Australia exports 99.9 per cent of its cotton, it will be directly affected by these changing expectations. While Australia's high-quality product has a sound reputation and earns a price premium maintaining and growing market access and diversity will require understanding and adapting to a more regulated and transparent commodity value chain.

It will also require the ability to understand and respond to market definitions of what is considered 'more sustainable' cotton. The current approach focuses on distinguishing between so-called conventional cotton, and more sustainable cotton produced and certified according to a defined standard, such as myBMP.

To meet future market needs, the Australian cotton industry must anticipate and respond to future expectations about the definition of sustainable cotton production, and be able to provide accurate and representative data about Australian production practices. The industry will need to provide impact and production data from the farm to the port. The Connected market intelligence theme aims to address this need and ensure the industry prepares and profits through preferred market access.

Under this theme, CRDC will work with Cotton Australia to establish a system to improve two-way information flows between the Australian cotton industry and the value chain. Such a system will help the industry monitor, identify, understand and respond to value chain needs. This greater knowledge will prepare the Australian cotton industry to meet emerging market expectations and regulations. It will also identify potential market barriers and improve the industry's capacity to influence, mitigate and overcome them.

Transparent information will enhance trust in the industry and help it to confidently respond to retailer, brand, community, and investor needs and demands. Cotton growers will benefit from better intelligence around production practice expectations, and CRDC will invest in the research needed to support growers as they adapt to these expectations.

CRDC will work with the Cotton to Market program to provide the evidence for Australian cotton as a worldleading sustainable material choice. Consumers will be able to make more informed choices, and the Australian cotton industry will be able to maximise the value of its high-quality, sustainable cotton.

This theme will build on and influence other Clever Cotton themes, including Data-driven decisions, Adaptive systems, Natural capital, Carbon, and Circular economy. It will also be closely connected to the industry's PLANET. PEOPLE. PADDOCK. Sustainability Framework. It will engage with other agricultural industries (especially grains) to ensure a consistent approach to collecting and reporting sustainability metrics across the many commodities that cotton growers produce.


  • Ongoing: the industry understands and can respond to the information needs of its value chain
  • By 2024, the industry is prepared for changing market needs and market diversification opportunities
  • By 2025, the value chain understands and considers the unique attributes of agriculture when determining what is meant by 'sustainable cotton'
  • By 2028, Australian cotton exceeds the expectations of retailers and brands that source sustainable cotton
  • By 2030, 80 per cent of Australian cotton is sold as more sustainable (as defined by the market)