Egyptian cotton is an extraordinary commodity that has played an important and vital role in Egypt's economic, social, and political history during the past two centuries. Egypt’s unique climate and fertile soil are ideal for agriculture, and especially cotton. From the early 1800s up to the present, Egyptian cotton has always been synonymous with luxury and quality.
1821 – Egyptian Cotton is born
A Frenchman cultivated cotton trees in Egypt and produced three bales of extra-long staple cotton, which were sold for a very high price in France. As a result, Egypt’s ruler, Mohamed Ali Pasha, discovered that Egypt’s climate combined with the best cotton seeds produced cotton of higher quality than any other in the world.
1833 – Establishment of the School of Agriculture
1862 – Heightened Demand for Egyptian Cotton
|Mohamed Ali established the School of Agriculture in Shobra for the study of modern agriculture. The aim of the School was to train students to teach modern agriculture in their villages, creating standardized methods of cotton cultivation throughout the country.
Cotton planting in Egypt was extended in order to meet the demands of the textile factories in Europe, as a result of the American Civil War (1861-1865). This expansion coincided with the increase of cotton prices in the world market. From only 596,000 quintars in 1861, Egypt’s cotton exports culminated to 2 million quintars in 1865.
1869 – Trade Expansion
The completion of the Suez Canal enabled ships to travel between Europe and Asia and beyond without having to circumnavigate the vast African continent, easing and expanding the Egyptian cotton trade.
1910 – Government Regulation
The Department of Agriculture was established under the Ministry of Public Works. The Department conducted research on cotton breeding, fertilization and water requirements, and produced and distributed certified cotton seeds.
1932 – ALCOTEXA Founded
The Alexandria Cotton Exporters’ Association (ALCOTEXA) was founded to develop the Egyptian cotton trade and act as an arbitration body among exporters, importers, spinners and other bodies both inside and outside Egypt.
1960 – Construction of the Aswan High Dam
The construction of the spectacular Aswan High Dam began in 1960 and was completed by 1970. The main function of the dam was to create a water reservoir during the annual flood season to assure a stable supply of water, allowing the expansion of cotton cultivation. The Aswan High Dam also provided protection for cotton and other crops against Nile River flooding.
Cotton Arbitration and Testing General Organization (CATGO)
1971 - Cotton Research Institute
|It is neutral supervising cotton organization that serves the cotton sector s dealing with seed cotton and lint cotton. Some of CATGO services are insuring the purity of Egyptian cotton varieties and its international reputation, classing and evaluating cotton crop and supervising it throughout all handling procedures right from picking until baling, determining the moisture content of cotton, supervising their weights, issuing international authorized certificates, determining the trash level "contamination", preparing official standard boxes representing the standard grades for all Commercial varieties and applying the arbitration in its different stages (arbitration, appeal and counter appeal).
2000 - Egyptian Cotton Logo Introduced
|Current activities of CRI concentrate on; Breeding of new cotton varieties superior to the cultivated ones (yield and quality) to fulfill the requirements of cotton farmers, preserving the genetic basis used for breeding, developing and improving cotton production practices, defining the most appropriate zones for each variety, strengthening the ties between research and extension to better transfer knowledge and technology to farmers, establishing, performing and completing technological information about the fiber and spinning properties of Egyptian cotton for spinners, as well as improving the grading and ginning practices.
The Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade and ALCOTEXA (formerly Ministry of Economy & Foreign Trade) registered a trademark for Egyptian cotton, to help consumers recognize the quality of Egyptian cotton products by identifying those goods bearing the logo, and protect them from misleading labels. The Trade mark is registered in 26 countries and others still in process. A licensing program and monitoring mechanism are also enforced.
2005 – Establishment of Cotton Egypt Association
The Egyptian Ministry of Industry and Foreign Trade and ALCOTEXA established a non-profit association "Cotton Egypt" representing the entire supply chain of Egyptian cotton to manage, promote, license and monitor the usage of the Egyptian cotton and its logo around the Globe. www.cottonegypt.net
2007 - Egyptian Cotton’s promotional Campaign Unveiled
2008 - Egyptian Cotton Media Exposure
|Cotton Egypt developed a strategy to protect and emphasize Egyptian cotton’s heritage and luxurious quality, guaranteeing the consumer that any product carrying the Egyptian cotton logo is made of 100 percent cotton. The Egyptian cotton logo first launched at an in store promotion at Bloomingdale's in Mall of America at Minnesota during Christmas 2007.
Second appearance was at the Heimtextil fair in Frankfurt, Germany in January 2008 and then in 2009 and 2010. The overall look and feel of the Cotton Egypt booth was warm and welcoming to showcase the benefits and products licensed to use the Logo – durability, softness, comfort and Luxury. The passersby were invited to experience the feeling of raw cotton and see products made from Egyptian Cotton that bears the Logo (bedding, towels and linens). They also received give away gifts and wrapped chocolates with the Logo.
Cotton Egypt was successfully present at the New York Trade Show in August 2008, interacting on a large scale with international media. Cotton Egypt’s activities were published in magazines and newsletters tailored to the Textile industry such as Cotton International, Home Furnishing, Home Textile Today, Global Home, Fashion Business and most of the Egyptian prime newspapers.