Timberland shared the history of the its efforts to reintroduce cotton farming to Haiti at this year’s Engage for Good conference in Chicago. Atlanta McIlwraith, senior manager community engagement and communication, relayed the global outdoor lifestyle brand’s work to date in Haiti and shared key lessons learned over the years. The brand’s partnership with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) began with a five-year commitment to plant five million trees in Haiti. The SFA rose to Timberland’s challenge to create a self-sustaining tree planting program by engaging smallholder farmers to plant the trees, in exchange for seeds, tools, and training. At the end of Timberland’s five-year commitment (2010-2015) the SFA had planted five million trees, significantly improved the lives of participating smallholder farmers, and created a program that was no longer dependent upon outside donations for support.
Timberland is now transitioning from a supporter to a customer of the SFA with its plan to purchase cotton from Haitian smallholder farmers under the same agroforestry model which will ultimately engage 34,000 farmers to grow 15 million pounds of organic cotton lint annually and plant 25 million additional trees in five years. Watch this video to learn how the program works and its impact to date.
To learn more about Timberland’s commitment to create responsible products, protect the outdoors, and serve communities worldwide visit https://www.timberland.com/responsibility.html.
KEYWORDS: Timberland, Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), Engage for Good Conference, NYSE:VFC, cotton, Haiti