"I'm here today to discuss Bayer CropScience's new E3 cotton sustainability initiative," Bayer CropScience Southwest District Sales Manager Jason Kroener said. "Which is basically Bayer CropScience partnering with the cotton industry to tell the story of the modern agriculture American cotton farmer in West Texas or I guess across the United States in general."
That is what Jason Kroener spoke about at a recent TAWC field walk in August as he spoke to area growers about the new initiative because it is something that is not being currently done by the American farmer - the telling of their own story.
"We feel like as an industry we raise some of the best fiber, high-quality cotton in the world and we need to tell that story, we need to tell that American farmer story about the cotton they are raising," Kroener said. "Because there are initiatives in other parts of the country for sustainability and we haven't put our story together as the United States and that's what this is about. The start of that story."
The beginning of the story is a farmer taking a chance on a crop, everything then working out with mother nature, the bugs and any other obstacles they have to overcome to get the crop to harvest.
Then it's to the gins and eventually to the shelves in your favorite retail store.
That is the process Kroener said the consumer wants to know about and that's where this new initiative will step in and help.
"The consumer today, there's a certain segment of that population that demands to know where the fiber came from, where the food comes from and that it was grown sustainably and we're not harming the environment to do this," Kroener said. "So that segment of consumer wants to know where this cotton's coming from and that's what this is about is telling and tying that cotton from farmer all the way to the consumer goods that are being purchased."
The program is still in the early stages but Kroener told us he hopes one day the E3 brand will be recognizeable and will take the cotton industry to a whole new level.
"We're in the infancy stages of this, but it will be branded as e3," Kroener said. "The vision someday could be you'll have e3 branded textiles so shoes, shirts, you know just other textiles. So yes it is meant to have a lot of initiative behind it, a lot of energy behind it, a lot of press behind what we're doing here. So yes, we're early on in the process."
Joining the e3 cotton initiative is on a volunteer basis and to qualify for the program growers must demonstrate a commitment to sustainable production by optimizing soil management, water usage and pesticide applications while considering worker health and safety.