ICT is a group of medium-sized trading companies specializing in raw cotton, owned and managed by the founding family. The corporate mission is to pursue and maintain a profitable business by combining it with the creation of value and direct and indirect jobs in various countries of the world, in compliance with the highest social and environmental values. ICT has always pursued the goal of establishing mutually beneficial relationships with customers and suppliers that could last over time. ICT has always believed that only in this way can a virtuous circle be created by involving suppliers and customers in a joint positive mission, and overcome the great environmental and market difficulties that arise periodically. ICT shuns the activity of pure financial speculation, pursuing instead the goal of supporting customers and suppliers through financial solidity, contractual reliability, quality of supplies, flexibility and consistency in services.
Already in the 70's the founder of ICT, the late Mr. Enrico Berri, had a very broad and future vision of his work. He gathered a group of prominent Italian textile industrialists, inviting them and guiding them on trips around the world, visiting cotton supplier and textile producers in their countries. The objectives, as well as commercial, were multiple: to transform rivalry and competition into friendship, sharing and a sense of belonging. Discover different cultural and production models, enrich human and technical knowledge, understand and accept diversity, involve suppliers and customers in the pursuit of common objectives. Over the years this group of customers/friends has visited the USA, several countries in South America, Africa and the Soviet Union, China, India, Japan, Australia. ICT customers could thus see where and how the raw cotton was born, how it was grown, harvested, ginned and shipped, and get to know many of the people involved in the process. In other countries they were able to compare the different patterns of textile production with their own, and take or give ideas for improvements. In practice, a system of transparency and traceability of the textile supply chain was implemented decades ahead of the times in which these issues became current and common. This precious cultural baggage is carried forward by the new generations of ICT.
Although we live now in a global world where communications are much faster and easier than in the past, geographical, cultural and development distances remain and in some cases they are even enlarged. In this scenario, it is even more important to have a cultural background that allows you to understand diversity and therefore interact profitably with suppliers and customers from geographically and culturally distant countries. Topics such as transparency, traceability, sustainability and inclusion are increasingly prominent, and ICT pursues them consistently also thanks to the values initiated and instilled by its Founder.
Sustainability and social responsibility determine, together with economic factors, corporate management decisions of ICT.
Social responsibility concerns every aspect of our business: we are committed to promoting sustainable cotton crops and we implement strict controls on quality, traceability and transparency.
We also promote and encourage our workers towards healthy and active lifestyles.
ICT complies with and exceeds the legal requirements of each country in which it operates. ICT first of all cares about the good working conditions of its employees, for whom it arranges the maximum safety and comfort of the offices, and establishes an environment of peaceful cooperation. Another goal of ICT is the maintenance of long-term jobs, so that its employees can count on a stable and lasting source of income for their families.
ICT requires its workers not only efficiency and effectiveness, but also to contribute where possible to the work and environmental progress with daily habits and gestures and with reports of any irregularities and incorrect practices.
ICT also cares about the working conditions of workers at suppliers and customers, trying to contribute to their progress by selecting suppliers, encouraging and monitoring any possible improvement, reporting any abuse, and through active participation in BCI and CmiA platforms.
ICT abhors and fights any forms of discrimination in the workplace, and denounces all forms of forced labour, exploitation and slavery of adult and child labor.
ICT does not own or manage production, processing or storage facilities, therefore it has a limited environmental footprint: there are no uses of chemical agents or large quantities of water. Nevertheless, ICT is concerned with the consumption of water, avoiding waste. And of energy consumption and pollution, limiting the use of air conditioning and heating to reasonable levels.
The waste produced by ICT offices is collected separately and where possible recycled, especially paper and printer cartridges.
ICT encourages its suppliers to produce organic cotton and its customers to use it, trying to contribute to its ever greater diffusion.
ICT is an active member of the Better Cotton Initiative (BCI) and of Cotton Made in Africa (CmiA) for several years.
The BCI is a global non-profit organization and the largest cotton sustainability program in the world. Its mission is to make global cotton production better for the people who produce it, better for the environment it grows in, and better for the future of the industry. BCI currently involves nearly 3 million farmers in 23 countries, and more than 20% of world production.
CmiA is an international association for sustainable African cotton. Since 2005 CmiA has been committed to protecting the environment and improving the working and living conditions of small farmers and ginning mills workers. CmiA goal is to help people help themselves, via trade rather than donations, in order to improve the living and working conditions of smallholder farmers in Africa and to protect our environment.
ICT shares and actively promotes the values and development of BCI and CmiA, and the greater diffusion of cotton certified by them.
ICT is a long time member of ICA (International Cotton Association Ltd, Liverpool) whose motto is: Protecting and Promoting the global cotton trade for 175 years.
Together with ICA, therefore, ICT promotes business ethics, honesty and integrity, basing almost all its sales contracts on ICA Bylaws and Rules, studied many years ago and constantly updated to ensure fairness of rights and duties between buyers and sellers. ICT, in accordance with the association's regulations, does not do business with companies or entities that have not respected the rules and have not honored the arbitration awards of ICA.
ICT is also a member of AFCOT (Association Francaise Cotonnière) whose motto is: La diversité de chacun fait la richesse de tous (the diversity of each makes the wealth of all).
AFCOT is also an association of great traditions, founded 130 years ago, and particularly oriented towards the sustainable development of the cotton business in Africa, also through close collaboration with ACA (Association Cotonnière Africaine). Most of the contracts for the purchase of African cotton of ICT are governed by the European Regulation drawn up and updated by AFCOT. ICT expressly adheres to the AFCOT Code of Ethics.