To maintain a leadership role in the marketing of raw cotton produced by members to the textile market on a worldwide basis, operating with a high degree of integrity while maximizing returns to members.
Calcot is a cooperative, meaning it's a company that is owned by those who use its products or services.
Calcot is a true democratic cooperative: each member has one vote, regardless of business or farm size, acreage or production. The members elect a board of directors, who set policy for the organization. The directors also hire one employee, chief executive officer (president), who hires everyone else. We are very grower-focused, but recognize our chief function is to add value through sales and service to growers' production and return as much of the final sales price to our grower-owners as possible.
Formed in 1927, Calcot originally represented only California growers. In 1955, Calcot expanded into Arizona. In 2005, Calcot was invited into South Texas to offer Calcot's marketing services, and in 2006 acquired SWIG (Southwestern Irrigated Cotton Growers), which expanded the reach into New Mexico and Far West Texas. Our volume has grown from the first season's 10,000 bales to the current average of close to a million bales. Calcot is among the nation's largest cotton exporters and the nation's largest supplier of strictly Far Western cottons.
The landscape continues to change. Today, especially in the San Joaquin Valley, the industry is coping with fewer acres, lower production and fewer growers. This mirrors the general evolution of agriculture. Calcot has fewer members today than in 1960, but handles more cotton. There are fewer farms, but they are larger. That has made competition for marketing their production more intense and while it has not made cooperatives less important, it has changed the nature of the original idea--that of representing the small grower in a world dominated by a few buyers--to one of partnership, operating as the direct marketing arm of a grower's individual operations, providing first rate service at the lowest possible cost, allowing the grower to keep more of the actual selling price of their cotton, rather than paying a middleman to handle the risk.
Calcot today is the marketing voice of 1,200 cotton growers, a major supplier of raw cotton to the world's textile mills and an innovator of cotton marketing and shipping methods, one of the largest cotton marketing cooperatives in the world, owned by cotton growers of California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas in the far western U.S., and headquartered in Bakersfield, California.
The warm temperatures and long growing season of California's San Joaquin Valley produce some of the finest cotton in the world. Both Upland and Pima cottons, known for exceptionally long staple (fiber length) and extremely strong, high quality fiber, are raised in the Valley. Similar varieties are grown in the desert regions of New Mexico, Far West Texas, South Texas, Arizona and Southern California. About 90 percent of the annual crop is exported.
Pacific Rim countries--such as Japan, Korea, Indonesia--are still constitute a core area of cotton buyers. But other countries, such as China, Turkey, India, Egypt and Peru, have been and are also very good markets for Far Western cotton growers.
Backed by a dependable supply each year of about a million bales, Calcot meets the quality and quantity needs of the world's textile mills. Immediately after harvest and ginning (a process that removes seed from the lint and bales are made), members' cotton is safely stored in Calcot warehouses. The organization's professional sales staff then sells the cotton in markets around the world.
Calcot owns one of the larger cotton warehousing systems in the U.S. with four active locations and over 150 warehouses. Just over one million bales can be stored at any one time among Calcot's six warehouse plants in California, Arizona, New Mexico and Texas.
An innovator in shipping methods, Calcot works directly with rail, steamship and trucking lines to find the most reliable shipping services at the least expensive rates. Spurred by concern for transit times and freight costs, Calcot was the first U.S. cotton shipper to utilize containers for overseas shipment.
Calcot is also a member of Amcot, the trade association of four major U.S. cotton marketing cooperatives (Calcot, Plains Cotton Cooperative Association, Staplcotn and Cotton Growers Cooperative).