THE Australian government has given the Australian Cotton Shippers Association and Cotton Australia a $1.5-million Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation grant.

Minister for agriculture David Littleproud said the funding would continue to develop important growth markets such as Vietnam, Indonesia, Turkey, India, Pakistan and Bangladesh and drive further demand with customers.

“We want to make Australian cotton a fibre of choice for global textile manufacturers, brands and retailers,” Mr Littleproud said.

“For the first time the project will see the industry host a visit of key supply chain customers to Australia and see our world-class cotton industry for themselves.

“Like all we produce in this great country, Aussie cotton is among the best in the world. We will continue to drive demand for our cotton with brands and retailers and position the industry in new and emerging markets, which is good news for Australian cotton growers.”

Cotton Australia CEO Adam Kay said that market diversification will continue to be crucial for the industry.

“We’re forecasting a large crop of 4.8 million bales in 2022, compared to an average of 3 million bales produced each year during the period from 2014-19,” Mr Kay said.

“This grant will help increase demand for the sustainable high-quality cotton we produce, avoid the need to stockpile and establish a clear roadmap for our future marketing efforts.”

ACSA Chairman Roger Tomkins acknowledged the importance of the grant in ensuring Australian cotton can match the promotional activities of its competitors, particularly the US and Brazil.

The Agricultural Trade and Market Access Cooperation grants have been awarded under the Australian Government’s Agri-Business Expansion Initiative (ABEI). The Australian government has invested $85.9 million through ABEI to help Australia’s agriculture, forestry and fisheries industries diversify and expand their export markets.

This work will be jointly delivered by ACSA and CA, with support from the Cotton Research and Development Corporation. The project supports the marketing of Australian cotton by the members of ACSA, with demand being generated by CA.

Grant builds on Phase 1 $757,196 ATMAC Grant to develop and implement an export market diversification strategy.