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CropMark Direct Achieves Green Dividend for Sustainability Efforts

From “Cotton 24/7″

West Texas-based CropMark Direct recently became the first U.S. cotton merchant to be awarded a “Green Dividend,” a feature of cotton insurance offered by Dallas-based Rekerdres and Sons Insurance Agency. Designed to support sustainable trading activity, it is the result of a unique partnership of commodity insurers and traders. CropMark Direct’s joint owners, Angie Goodman and Kelli Merritt, accrued even more industry respect when they announced that the dividend covering the previous year’s crop would be donated to St. Jude’s Children’s Hospital in Memphis, TN.

Speaking on behalf of CropMark Direct’s consortium of international insurers, Ted Rekerdres, president of Rekerdres & Sons Insurance, highlighted the importance of two correlations:

Commodity traders using principles of sustainability tend to have substantially lower physical losses.
Virtually every sustainable agricultural program has the common elements of counting, training and tracing.
“The disciplines of counting, training and tracing clearly serve the needs of Bayer CropScience to validate the performance of their Certified FiberMax and Authentic Stoneville seeds,” Rekerdres said. “But at the same time – and to the credit of CropMark Direct – these disciplines also serve to substantially reduce the risk exposures of cotton to the customary perils of country damage, such as fire and contamination. Those factors dramatically affect the safe delivery of high-quality baled cotton from origin to mill opening rooms worldwide.”

Rekerdres added that the improvement in risk has been measurable and warranted recognition by cotton insurers. He added that this is the first time that a U.S. cotton-only merchant has met the intent of the criteria with full documentation.

Another unique condition of the “Green Dividend” is that it is payable to the trader’s foundation or similar charitable arm, which in turn places insurers on the humanitarian side of global agriculture.
CropMark Direct delivers authentic, certified FiberMax and Stoneville cotton, which is especially useful to global mills which derive value from both the quality of the fiber and the sustainability of production.

The merchant acts in the manner of a local administration office by helping track the purchase, planting, inputs, harvest, and ginning of the highly developed cottonseed. When these elements are authenticated, optimum fiber qualities, uniformity and valid yields are assured.

CropMark Direct hopes to further refine their sustainability protocols, including field DNA validation, so traceability elements can be more effectively valued by those retailers with “green” needs.

This fits in with plans by retailers such as Walmart and JCPenney, which intend to market only sustainable goods in certain textile sectors.