On June 25th, the 141th Ordinary General Assembly of the members of the Bremen Cotton Association was held in Bremen. It was very much characterised by the visit of Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development, Dr. Gerd Müller. Besides, the Board of Directors and the Directorate of the office took the opportunity to once more recall the events and activities of the international association in the year 2014. The members consentaneously granted formal approval to the board and management.
Cotton Exchange Internals
The Board of Directors of the Cotton Exchange elected Ernst Grimmelt, Velener Textil GmbH, as President for another year. Henning Hammer, Otto Stadtlander GmbH, was elected Vice President. Fritz A. Grobien, Albrecht, Müller-Pearse & Co. Trade (GmbH & Co.) KG Bremen, is still available to the Bremen Cotton Exchange as Immediate Past President.
“With our national and international members, we cover almost the complete production and service chain of the cotton industry right up to textile processing. This reflects the efficiency and the know how in our network,” said President Ernst Grimmelt during his address of welcome at the start of the General Assembly.
Cotton and its Market
Elke Hortmeyer, Director of Communication, International Relations and Market Analysis, informed about the most important tendencies in the cotton market. According to this, the global cotton production in the season 2014/15 should amount to 26.3 million tons. This is less than in the years before. The worldwide cotton trade was at roughly 7.5 million tons in the season 2014/15, as China has reduced its purchases producing significant effects on the overall result. An in-depth look into the international cotton industry is provided by the just recently published annual report of the der Bremen Cotton Exchange for the year 2014.
Investments for the Future
The Association of the Bremen Cotton Exchange is the owner of the heritage-protected five-story Kontor house built in 1902 in the centre of the hanseatic town of Bremen. Carmen Wachs as executive director reported from the property management that considerable investments into conserving the value of the building have been made over the recent years, mainly by energy-efficient refurbishment measures. Furthermore, the Cotton Exchange is also involved in rebuilding and extending the quality assessment laboratory for cotton. Cooperation partners here are, besides the Cotton Exchange, the Bremen Fibre Institute (FIBRE) and the ICA Bremen.
In the Same Boat with the Textile Alliance
The visit of Dr. Gerd Müller as Federal Minister of Economic Cooperation and Development and his key note were the highlight of the General Assembly. His topic was the future elaboration of the alliance for sustainable textiles.
In his address of welcome to the Minister, President Ernst Grimmelt recalled the first, bumpy steps in the realisation of the alliance, which was founded in October 2014, with the aid of bold headlines from the news of the daily press. After the accession of large parts of the textile and clothing industry, trade and of their associations, though, he sees it on a good course. Under the headline “Fair is Chic”, Ernst Grimmelt described the future development of the initiative. The Minister thanked the President of the Exchange for the decision for an early accession and for the engaged cooperation of the Cotton Exchange in designing the association´s aims and in realising them. Especially at the start of the association initiative, dedicated decision makers had been needed as icebreakers and encouragers.
For the Minister, cotton is a symbol of chances and risks within the global development of the world economy and its steadily intensifying interconnection. Free trade increasingly had to be also interpreted as fair trade in its elaboration he said.
With this in view, he would like the textile alliance to have a signal effect not only for Germany, but also for the world community.
Following his talk, which received not only unanimous acceptance and an intensive discussion, Federal Minister Dr. Gerd Müller opened and inspected the newly designed quality assessment laboratory of the cooperation partners ICA Bremen, Bremen Fibre Institute and Bremen Cotton Exchange. In doing so, he had reference samples of cotton samples from around the world shown to him. This conveyed once more the way the natural attributes of cotton have a determining influence on its quality. Thereafter, the Minister put the laboratory into operation with the first test of a cotton sample.