Dr Charles Tannock

Member of the European Parliament for London

Global cotton value chain

Delivered in Plenary - 14th March 2013

Mr President

Cotton is one of the unique materials that could be classified as a universal commodity. The material is found across industries and markets and produced all around the world. It is also of great interest to farming, textile and clothing businesses throughout the European Union, including the city I represent, London.

Within our Member States we have producers, traders and investors in cotton production. It is therefore in our national and European interest for the European Union to have a presence on the International Cotton Advisory Committee. Membership of this committee would allow the EU for the first time to provide input on the regulation of the cotton industry and provide opportunities to increase international trade and streamline production.

A place on the committee would also allow the EU to better monitor the social issues associated with the industry such as forced child labour, as alleged in certain Central Asian countries.

Therefore, I strongly support the EUís accession request to the International Cotton Advisory Committee, as it will increase the EUís role in this key global market.