Smallholder farmers near Gonaives, Haiti recently planted the first commercial cotton crop in the country since 1987, with support from Timberland and other brands. The farmers planted a demonstration farm which will train other smallholder farmers to cultivate cotton. As a key supporter of the effort, Timberland provided participating farmers with shirts as a symbol of the future market for the cotton they planted.
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 H
I recently had the pleasure to attend Ethical Corporation’s 6th Annual Responsible Business Summit in New York City. The event, touted as the premier brand-focused forum on responsible business in the U.S., brought in 90+ speakers over two days with rich dialogue focused on driving transformational change for society and industry.
By: Ann Caron, Social Compliance and Reporting Manager
As an employee of Timberland, I am offered up to 40 paid community service hours each year through the company’s Path of Service™ program, now in its 26th year. One of the ways I use my hours is to manage the Timberland Victory Garden, a raised-bed vegetable garden located on the front lawn of our global headquarters in Stratham, New Hampshire.
By: Atlanta McIlwraith, Senior Manager of Community Engagement and Communications
I recently had the opportunity to join over 800 Rotary members from 30 different countries at Rotary’s Presidential Peacebuilding Conference in Vancouver, British Columbia. The conference was focused on Environmental Sustainability and Peace, the first of six Peacebuilding Conferences to be held in different locations around the world on Rotary’s core focus areas.
Can using blockchain to verify cotton as organic help revive the industry in Haiti?
By Ben Schiller
Haiti hasn’t grown cotton in decades. Its once-abundant industry collapsed in the 1970s due to government corruption, economic mismanagement, and U.S. embargoes. But now, thanks to a project involving thousands of smallholder farmers, apparel brands like Timberland, and a blockchain network, it could be set for a comeback. Within a few years, if all goes to plan, the island will be supplying millions of pounds of organic cotton for shoes, shirts, and other clothing sold in U.S. stores.
Last week, smallholder farmers convened in a field on the outskirts of Gonaives, Haiti to harvest cotton for the first time in 30 years. Once Haiti’s fourth largest export crop, cotton growing stopped in the 1980s due to policies and politics of the time.
Vetiver is essential to perfume and cosmetic industries, but farming the roots of this sought-after grass is by no means glamorous. Heifer Haiti is supporting vetiver farmers through both the challenges of depending on a crop harvested only once a year and the difficulties of living in a disaster-prone part of the world.
Smoky and sweet, calming and grounding, vetiver is used in a variety of fine and consumer fragrances as well as in teas and other foodstuffs. As one of the most prominent and sought after crops in Haiti, it is also a staple to the Haitian economy and vital to smallholder farmers, their families and their surrounding communities.