Classification of Cotton

In 1907, an international group of cotton industry representatives met in Atlanta, Georgia, to address serious problems that had developed in the marketing of cotton. A resolution was passed which recommended the establishment of uniform cotton standards to “eliminate price differences between markets, provide a means of settling disputes, make the farmer more cognizant of the value of his product, and, therefore, put him in a better bargaining position, and in general be of great benefit to the cotton trade.” In response to this and similar calls for action over the next several years, laws were passed authorizing the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) to develop cotton grade standards and offer cotton classification services. Under the authority of the U.S. Cotton Statistics and Estimates Act of 1927, the U.S. Cotton Standards Act of 1923, and the U.S. Cotton Futures Act of 1914, USDA implemented a classification system. Thus began an industrygovernment relationship that remains strong and viable to this day. This long-standing partnership demonstrates how government and industry can work together, each respectful of the other’s role, to produce continuing beneficial results for the nation and for its customers abroad.


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