International Conference on Expanding the Organic Fiber Market to Take Place in Utrecht, the Netherlands, Sept. 11-15, 2006

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Approximately 400 international representatives of the organic fiber market will participate in the Organic Exchange 2006 annual conference entitled “New Threads: Weaving Innovation and Integrity into Organic Cotton Products” (http://www.organicexchange.org). Participants, including retailers, farmers, manufacturers, and representatives of brands, farming projects, banks, NGO’s, certifiers and cotton brokers will learn, innovate, share knowledge and set a strategic agenda to continue the dramatic growth in the organic fiber sector. An Organic Cotton Marketplace will be held during the annual conference, enabling companies from throughout the supply chain to display their organic cotton products and discuss opportunities for collaboration. The conference is co-hosted by Nike, ICCO and Rabobank.

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New Threads: Weaving Innovation and Integrity into Organic Cotton Products

Approximately 400 international representatives of the organic fiber market will participate in the Organic Exchange 2006 annual conference entitled “New Threads: Weaving Innovation and Integrity into Organic Cotton Products” (http://www.organicexchange.org). Participants, including retailers, farmers, manufacturers, and representatives of brands, farming projects, banks, NGO’s, certifiers and cotton brokers will learn, innovate, share knowledge and set a strategic agenda to continue the dramatic growth in the organic fiber sector. An Organic Cotton Marketplace will be held during the annual conference, enabling companies from throughout the supply chain to display their organic cotton products and discuss opportunities for collaboration. The conference is co-hosted by Nike, ICCO and Rabobank.

WHERE:     Rabobank Headquarters, Utrecht, The Netherlands (near Amsterdam).

WHEN:    September 11 - 15, 2006

WHO:     In the U.S.: Sandra Marquardt, tel: 301-592-0077. Rest of World: Mariëlle Beerling, tel: 31 (0)30 230 60 00 (direct), 31 (0)6 534 555 36 (cell).

According to a May 2006 Organic Exchange report, global organic cotton product sales increased an estimated 35 percent annually, from $245 million in 2001 to $583 million in 2005 and are projected to skyrocket to $2.6 billion by the end of 2008. Brands and retailers such as Nike, Wal-Mart, Edun, H&M, Marks & Spencer, and Coop Switzerland are very active in the organic fiber market and are expanding their programs. They are joined by over 1200 small and medium-size brands and retailers offering organic cotton products to the European, North American and Asian consumer markets.

The Organic Exchange is a non-profit organization facilitating expansion of the global organic cotton fiber supply by working closely with farmers, leading brands and retailers and their business partners to develop organic cotton programs. The conference is co-hosted by ICCO, an inter-religion organization for co-development and partner of Organic Exchange in developing the organic market, Rabobank and Nike with major support from by Made-By.

Conference sponsors include Cone Denim, Control Union Certifications, Esquel, Indorama Indonesia, Mavideniz, Orta Anadolu, Patagonia, Pratibha Syntex Ltd., Quick Feat International, Sanko Textile, The Paul Reinhart Group, Remei/BioRe, Thai Alliance Textile, and Thai Textile Industry PCL.

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Sandra Marquardt
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