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AgTech Company News

Local ag tech firm launches digital platform to transform U.S. cotton industry

At first glance, the goal of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol seems daunting — to reduce the environmental footprint of the industry and make cotton farming more sustainable across the nation.

But, the digital platform usage is surprisingly simple. And it’s laid out, in a way, like TurboTax.

“It’s self-guided, and guides you through, step by step, with progression,” said Mark Pryor, CEO of The Seam. “When you’re keying in your information to do your taxes … they [TurboTax] make it simple. We’re doing that for farmers.”

The Seam — a Memphis-based software company that works with agribusinesses — announced the general release of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol on March 10. A digital platform, it provides farmers with a way to measure, improve, and showcase their environmental footprint, free of charge.

“We’re telling the story of sustainability, on behalf of a farmer,” Pryor said. “We’re providing the platform to capture the practices the farmer uses for his production of cotton, and his journey toward continuous improvement in that sustainability mission.”

Read more, via Memphis Business Journal.

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AgTech Company News

The Seam delivers U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol to digitize sustainability story for cotton farmers

MEMPHIS, Tenn., March 10, 2020 – The Seam, a leading provider of commodities trading and agriculture software solutions, today announced the general release of the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, an integrated technology platform that allows U.S. cotton farmers to assess and verify production practices, environmental footprint and measurement of progress toward long-term sustainability goals.

The Trust Protocol was initiated by the National Cotton Council, which represents all U.S. cotton industry segments, including producers, ginners, warehousing, merchants, cooperatives, manufacturers and cottonseed. The Seam was named technology partner of the initiative in November 2018 by the National Cotton Council and the COTTON USA Sustainability Task Force. Mark Pryor, Chief Executive Officer at The Seam, was also named to the inaugural Board of Directors of the Trust Protocol in December 2019 as an advisor.

“We are honored to play a role in the development of technology that fuels the overall mission and message of U.S. agriculture sustainability,” said Pryor. “Working with the National Cotton Council, our goal was to provide a farmer-friendly platform for the cotton industry that promotes economic and environmental stewardship through quantifiable metrics and insights. We look forward to expanding our platform to other agricultural crops, including peanuts and soybeans, in the near future.”

Approximately 300 U.S. cotton producers have enrolled in the platform pilot that began in June 2019. The general release, which launches in April for the 2020 crop, will include a new bale registration and verification process that links actual cotton production to the sustainability profile of the grower. As a qualified data management partner with Field to Market, The Seam has also developed a new integration module for the Fieldprint® Platform, which allows science-based metrics and outcomes within a unified experience.

Through robust data metrics, analysis and insights, the Trust Protocol adds confidence and transparency throughout the supply chain – ensuring U.S. cotton remains the responsible choice for textile manufacturers, brands and retailers.

“The Seam has played a key role on the technology side of developing the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol, a program designed to confirm and increase awareness of the fact that U.S. cotton producers are farming responsibly and striving for continuous improvement,” said Ken Burton, the Trust Protocol’s executive director. “The Seam helped immensely in the development of the Trust Protocol, and the company continues to refine the way data is utilized within this industry-leading initiative.”

About the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol
The Trust Protocol, a collaborative effort of the U.S. cotton industry, is a new standard developed to foster a further awareness and reduction of U.S. cotton’s environmental footprint by enabling producers to assess their performance against specific sustainability goals. The Trust Protocol is governed by a multi-stakeholder board comprised of producers, ginners, merchandisers, cooperatives, textile manufacturers, retailers, conservation and civil society organizations, technical and agronomic scientists. For more information, including how to enroll, visit TrustUSCotton.org.

About The Seam
Based in Memphis, Tennessee, The Seam was founded by leading global agribusiness companies and specializes in commodity trading and agriculture software solutions. In December 2000, it began operating the world’s first online exchange for cotton trading. Since that time, the company has leveraged its trading and agriculture technology expertise to expand software services into other crops, including peanuts, soybeans, grains and dairy. As a proven leader in agtech, The Seam has cleared or processed more than $9 billion through its platforms. For more information, visit www.theseam.com.

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AgTech Company News Cotton Sustainability

U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol Names Directors and Advisors

The inaugural Board of Directors and Advisors have been named for the U.S. Cotton Trust Protocol (Trust Protocol), a new standard developed to help the U.S. cotton production sector further reduce its footprint by enabling producers to assess their performance against specific sustainability goals. Through robust data inputs, the Trust Protocol will add confidence throughout the supply chain – positioning U.S. cotton as the responsible choice for mills and retailers.

Directors representing the raw cotton industry include:

  • Producers – Matt Coley (Georgia); Ted Schneider (Louisiana); Shawn Holladay (Texas); and Aaron Barcellos (California); 
  • Ginner – David Blakemore (Missouri); 
  • Marketing Cooperative – Hank Reichle (Mississippi);
  • Merchant – Steve Dyer (Tennessee);
  • Cottonseed – Fred Serven (Tennessee);
  • Manufacturer – Jim Martin (North Carolina); 
  • Brands/Retailers are Liza Schillo, Levi Strauss & Co., and Joe Little, Tesco;
  • Suzy Friedman, Environmental Defense Fund; Melissa Ho, the World Wildlife Fund; Marty Matlock, the University of Arkansas; and Garry Bell, formerly with Gildan. 

Trust Protocol advisors include:  Jesse Daystar, Cotton Incorporated; Andy Jordan, Jordan Consulting; Marc Lewkowitz, Supima; Mark Pryor, The Seam; and Mike Quinn, Frontier Spinning Mills.

For more information, visit: http://www.cotton.org/news/releases/2019/trusbd.cfm