The Story of Cotton, published to commemorate the 175th anniversary of the International Cotton Association, charts the development of the organisation from a small band of Liverpool-based cotton brokers to what is today the oldest, largest and most important cotton association in the world, with over 550 members, spanning all corners of the globe and all sectors of the supply chain. It is a remarkable story, with a fittingly global reach.
This lavishly illustrated volume shows how momentous events such as the Industrial Revolution, the transatlantic slave trade, the transport revolutions in rail and steam ship, the American Civil War and World Wars I and II all had important roles to play in shaping the development of the ICA. It is also the history of a far-sighted and resourceful membership, which banded together to provide crucial services such as arbitration and market information, and seized opportunities to create the first modern hedge and double its market. Liverpool rose to global prominence in the world of cotton, maintaining its status as the UK's largest cotton importer, the world's largest cotton spot market and arguably the globe's premier cotton market for over a century. Finally, it is the story of adaptation in the face of the enormous challenges posed by the collapse of both the Lancashire cotton industry and the cotton futures market in the aftermath of World War II. The response to those challenges has seen the International Cotton Association not only survive but prosper, so that the 'Liverpool Rules' of cotton trading remain the benchmark for safe trading throughout the world.