Cotton growers committed to supporting CQ
AUSTRALIA’S cotton growers are committed to supporting the communities in which they operate, according to a recent report.
The ‘Cotton with a Conscience’ report pulled together industry data and case studies from cotton growing regions, outlining Australian cotton’s significant social and economic contribution.
The report found that not only did the Australian cotton industry directly employ 12,500 people mostly on family farms in rural areas, it contributed on average $1.8 billion a year to the national economy and was a major social contributor to regional communities.
It found 90 per cent of cotton growers were involved in at least one community based activity, with six in 10 involved in some way on a monthly basis.
“As anyone who’s lived in a rural town knows, so much of their vibrancy comes from the people who volunteer their time and resources to make things happen,” Cotton Australia spokeswoman Brooke Summers said.
“While this report really just scratches the surface, it is full of examples of how our farmers and industry groups are contributing to the social fabric of rural communities across NSW and Queensland.”
Cotton farmers made 93 per cent business expenses in rural towns and regional centres, and 71 per cent of growers made regular donations to local charities and programs.
The Cotton with a Conscience report included 25 case study examples of how the cotton industry was giving back, from donating cotton towels to WIRES during the recent bushfires and tackling issues like Aboriginal employment and rural mental health.
“For many years, the Australian cotton industry has worked hard to assess and report our environmental sustainability, but on the social side, there’s a great untold story,” Ms Summers said.
“It’s important that our supply chain partners, and consumers of Australian cotton know our domestic industry treats its workers fairly, provides safe workplaces and opportunities, and is doing its best to contribute in a positive way to cotton communities.
“We haven’t been very good at telling the stories of cotton’s social contributions, even though our farmers, local Cotton Grower Associations and industry groups have been doing great things for decades.”
View the ‘Cotton with a Conscience’ report here.