Stephanie Silber, President of the Bremen Cotton Exchange and Managing Director of Otto Stadtlander GmbH, Bremen, Germany
With all the bad news this year, is there a positive development in 2020 that you can highlight?
“The past year has shown us how flexible and innovative we are. The SARS-CoV 2 pandemic has forced us to explore new paths and, with the help of existing possibilities, to support families, friends, and companies, but also to protect them.
The truly global textile supply chain has suffered greatly from the effects of the pandemic. National and local lockdowns in cotton-growing and processing countries, as well as constant uncertainty along the value chain have dealt the textile industry a hard blow. Some companies have used this “reset” to question existing sourcing strategies and to try out new approaches.
On the production side, increasing consideration is being given to abandoning decentralised and anonymous sourcing in favour of a more conservative and straightforward supply chain.
Not only does this demonstrably increase crisis stability, but it also promotes sustainability and transparency, from the cotton farmer to the retailer, along the entire textile value chain. A welcome thought, especially in view of the great challenges of the 21st century.
With the help of the technologies available today, such as video conferencing, we were able to maintain contact and exchange ideas with our families, friends and business partners despite contact restrictions and considerate isolation. This can never replace a face-to-face meeting, but it has become a common alternative.
In the medium term, it is to be feared that SARS-CoV 2 will be with us and restrict us for some time to come. However, better times will come again. Until then, we must make the best of it and remain innovative and flexible every day.”
Statement from the year-end-issue 2020 of the Bremen Cotton Report