Liverpool cotton trader Plexus Cotton, run by chairman and founder Nick Earlam, sells cotton throughout the world and owns a network of processing operations in Africa. It supplies cotton seed to African farmers and then buys their harvest for processing, before selling the finished product to the textile industry. In recent years, the price of cotton has been extremely volatile, which Plexus has successfully negotiated, with international sales growing 37% a year, from £169.7m in 2009 to £318.8m in 2011. It is now developing a risk management tool to help companies cut their exposure to this volatility.
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