Over 500 delegates from the global cotton community gathered in Liverpool’s Crowne Plaza Hotel and St George’s Hall from 9-10 October for our Liverpool 2019 annual trade event and gala dinner.
Hosted by the ICA’s outgoing President, Bill Ballenden, delegates came together to take part in the two-day event, which saw a variety of top industry speakers take to the stage.
With keynote sessions from Joe Nicosia (Louis Dreyfus Company), Alan McClay (Better Cotton Initiative) and Baofu Yang (China National Cotton Exchange), as well as an all-female panel session hosted by Eimear McDonagh (Namoi Cotton Alliance) there was also plenty of opportunity for delegates to network and do business, one of the main event attractions.
At the closing gala dinner, in a humorous speech that saw Bill Ballenden hand over the ICA presidency to Azeez Syed, Bill reflected on the theme of the event, ‘Coming Home’:
“As a famous author once said, ‘Coming back to where you started is not the same as never leaving.’ And here we are, back home, but with a journey behind us and stories to tell…
During these turbulent times, in 2019 we kept working hard to uphold the highest standards for our industry, and ensure the ICA remains an Association you can trust.
When a market drops like ours has dropped, contractual problems are never far behind and the ICA has seen a rise in the number of arbitrations being commenced. It’s important to remember that many arbitrations do not end up with a party’s name being placed on the List of Unfulfilled Awards, rather the award provides the basis for an amicable agreement. It will, however, remain our stated goal to ensure that any party (or related party) that is on the list will not enjoy the freedom of trading with any of our members. We know no system is perfect, but we continue to work as hard as we can to police this and engage with membership on this thorny issue. Our strength is in our numbers and in solidarity.”
The event also provided a platform for the ICA to launch some of its newest initiatives including the ICAspire membership category, the Women in Cotton initiative and a new Member Referral Scheme.
Next year’s event will take place in Singapore on 28-29 October. Full details will be posted on the ICA website soon.