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'BIT' now up and running

As part of our ongoing strategy to promote safe trading, we have introduced a new business intelligence process that aims to put the spotlight on firms that use ‘dishonourable’ trading practices.

Headed by Kai Hughes, ICA Managing Director and supported by two members of the ICA team, our new Business Intelligence Team (BIT) will highlight firms that are circumventing the ICA default list by proactively gathering trade information on defaulters and associated companies.
“It is common in the industry for defaulters to ‘hide’ their operations by setting up other companies to trade cotton or to buy cotton from middle men so that cotton sold in good faith ends up at the door of a defaulting mill,” says Kai.  “Everyone knows this goes on, but it is difficult to prove. This is where our new Business Intelligence Team comes in.”
The BIT will search for trade links that are being used by defaulters to buy or supply cotton. It will then notify ICA members via the ‘Advisory Notice List’. The BIT also plans to include more information to members about defaulting firms, for example listing the names of the decision makers (such as the owner, CEO, MD and Directors), to make it easier to establish links between defaulting companies and newly created ones. Any information passed to the BIT to help with investigations will be treated in strict confidence.
“Life will not be easy for defaulters or for firms that try to circumvent the default list,” says our newly elected President, Ahmed Elbosaty. “There will be no place for them to hide and they risk serious damage to their reputation and industry standing. They will not be able to trade with ICA members, which means that they will be forced to do business with less reputable counterparts, increasing their own business risk.
“Trading with defaulters is not a good business strategy nor is it an honourable way to do business. If the cotton community sticks together and stands firm on defaulters then we may be able to reduce the stress being placed on the cotton supply chain and improve its economic sustainability.”