Toyo Cotton Co. was established in 1920 when Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd. was formed in Osaka, Japan and took over the activities of the Cotton Department from Mitsui & Co., Japan’s largest trading company at the time. After the establishment of Toyo Menka, as with other overseas cotton operations, Southern Products Co., a company that Mitsui & Co. established in Houston in 1911 in order to buy American cotton, was transferred from Mitsui to Toyo Menka Kaisha Ltd. and moved to Dallas the following year.
Southern Products was restructured into Southern Cotton Co. in 1924. The company had 22 branch offices across the US cotton belt and Europe at the time and its transactions included domestic sales and exports to Japan and Europe as well as warehouse and cotton press operations. The outbreak of World War II inevitably resulted in the dissolution of Southern Cotton Co. This business was revived after the war in July 1952 as Toyo Cotton Co. and resumed its raw cotton buying and trading activities. The name, Toyo Cotton Co., was formed by translating Menka Kaisha into English. Ownership of Toyo Cotton Co. was shared between Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd., Osaka, Japan and Jack J. Stoneham of Dallas, Texas. Mr. Stoneham was an employee of Southern Cotton Co. and it was through his initiative that this postwar subsidiary was established. Mr. Stoneham was owner of Stoneham Cotton Co. and not only did he provide half of the capital to start Toyo Cotton Co., he also provided the staff. Mr. Stoneham was the first president of Toyo Cotton Co. and served from July 1, 1952 until December 23, 1956. At that time, he sold his stock to Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd. Toyo Cotton Co. then became a wholly owned subsidiary of Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd. One of the employees during Toyo Cotton Co. early years was Mr. Charles C. Wisler who became president of Toyo Cotton Co. on June 1, 1972 and served until May 31, 1981.
In 1990 Toyo Menka Kaisha, Ltd. became Tomen Corporation. Tomen Corporation continued the tradition of involvement in cotton trading that dates back to the foundation of the original company and consistently maintained a strong position of leadership in the industry. After careful deliberations, the company decided to incorporate cotton trading as a separate company.
In March 1990, Toyo Cotton (Japan) Co. and was established as a means of creating the platform for the maintenance and expansion of cotton trading. At this time Toyo Cotton Co., Dallas, TX became an affiliate of Toyo Cotton (Japan) Co., Osaka, Japan. Unlike Tomen’s other overseas operations, this company specialized exclusively in raw cotton trading since its inception.
More recently in 2006, Tomen Corporation integrated with Toyota Tsuho America, Inc., a key trading and supply chain supplier to the Toyota Group.
Both Toyo Cotton (Japan) Co. and Toyo Cotton Co. are important raw cotton supply base for customers in Japan as well as Southeast Asia and Turkey. Toyo Cotton Co., Dallas also supplies cotton to U.S. domestic mills. Both companies operate in the interests of its customers, employees and shareholder. The customers are the spinning mills, cotton gins, and cotton producers. The employees are our most essential asset. The shareholder is Toyota Tsuho America, Inc.
Our goal, now and for the future, is to balance the interest of each for the benefit of all, without all our business could not exist. We are committed to maintaining our solid reputation in the cotton industry and providing the best service possible to our customers.