History and Background
The San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association was formed in 1998 by a small group of forward-thinking cotton growers who were concerned that the traditional market price premium for their SJV cotton would be jeopardized by the impending change in California's longtime "One Variety Law."
They were certain that the world's most discriminating textile consumers would continue to need a reliable source for even-running cottons, with the combination of high strength and length that made the SJV growth world renowned. They knew that their traditional premium was based on a true value in the marketplace, but that there was some apprehension as to the ability of the state's new system to provide effective controls for identifying and segregating the "non-approved" varieties.
To address these concerns, the Association's founding growers developed a stringent code of conduct for the production of its members' cotton. Included in the requirements were:
• Only varieties approved by the San Joaquin Valley Cotton Board could be represented as SJV Quality Cotton®
• Strict guidelines for foreign contaminant control would be enforced
• No sticky cotton would be allowed to be marketed under the SJV Quality Cotton® brand
In 2001, the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office approved the Association's application for the exclusive use of the words "SJV Quality Cotton" and the white, gold, and green logo.
Two years later, the Association selected Weil Brothers-Cotton, the nation's oldest international cotton merchandising firm, to be its exclusive licensee in marketing the SJV Quality Cotton® brand to textile mills around the world.
Beginning with the 2003 crop the Association expanded its quality message even further by investing in a state of the art Fiber Lab utilizing Lintronics® instrument testing. This technology incorporates highly reliable objective measurements for evaluation of neps, fineness, maturity, seed coats, and stickiness. These measurements are collected on a field-by-field basis to allow for the selection of cottons with very precise parameters when combined with the standard USDA class data.
In 2004, the Association became the first grower-owned mutual benefit organization in California to be named a Certified Interest Organization to the National Cotton Council of America, with advisory capacity to the American Cotton Producers. Also in 2004, the Association became an official sponsor of Cotton Council International, with a seat on the Executive Committee.
Starting in 2008, a separate company licensed to do business as SJV Quality Cotton was established as an independent international marketer and shipper of San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association members' cotton. SJV Quality Cotton operates its own warehousing and logistics system, with a network of sales agents located in every key market around the globe.
Recognizing the ever changing conditions of California's cotton industry, the San Joaquin Valley Quality Cotton Growers Association continues identify ways to increase rewards for growers with an enduring commitment to responsible practices.