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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog


Haiti Cotton Presentation at Oxford

Hugh Locke and Atlanta McIlwraith making a joint presentation at University of Oxford on May 18, 2018.

How often is Haiti a topic of discussion at the University of Oxford? The answer is at least once in the last month when Atlanta McIlwraith, representing Timberland, and I, representing the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA), made a joint presentation about the reintroduction of cotton to Haiti at the Responsible Business Forum 2018. Our talk is available on YouTube and the accompanying Timberland/SFA case study can be downloaded here.

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Timberland, Discovery, Disney Win Big With Cause Marketing

Timberland began as a sponsor of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance and their tree planting initiative in
Haiti, and now is working with them to return cotton to Haiti.

REPRINT > Sarah Mahoney for Marketing Daily

Engage for Good, a cause-marketing group with both corporate and nonprofit members, is handing out its annual Halo Awards, with companies like Discovery, Disney, Walgreens and Timberland taking top honors.

The organization awarded 28 winners, chosen from 125 entries.

“Once again, Halo-winning campaigns rose to the top by effectively communicating cause-related messages while measurably building a better world and the bottom line,” says Engage for Good President David Hessekiel, in announcing the honorees.

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Next Generation Digital Tools for Smallholder Farmers in Haiti

Columbia student Nadia Asgaraly (center) guides Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) agronomist Georges
Dency (left) in using a beta data management app while Timote Georges, SFA Executive Director, looks on.

The students are part of a 'capstone project' providing a real-time consulting service to the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) before graduating in May. Specifically, the students are key members of a larger team (which includes the Better Sourcing Program and RCS Globalfocused on developing a revolutionary new data management system that will help smallholders growing cotton and other crops to be more productive and profitable, while incorporating blockchain technology that will help potential cotton export customers like Timberland, Patagonia and Vans achieve increased transparency and efficiency.

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Helping Puerto Rican Smallholder Farmers Rebuild - PART TWO

A Helping Hand from Haiti

It was announced yesterday at the Clinton Global Initiative (CGI) Action Network on Post-Disaster Recovery at the University of Miami that the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) and  Visit Rico are undertaking a feasibility study exploring the possibility of reintroducing cotton to Puerto Rico as part of the recovery efforts following the devastation caused by Hurricane Maria. 

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Helping Puerto Rican Smallholder Farmers Rebuild – PART ONE

Marta (right), coordinator of the Ponce farmer’s market, presents a check to a fellow farmer Nathaniel.

Supporting Farmer to Farmer Assistance

Last October a young farmer named Yanna Muriel Mohan stood on a stage near Washington, D.C. and gave a moving first-hand account of how Hurricane Maria had brought devastation upon the organic smallholder farmers she worked with in Puerto Rico through an organization called Visit Rico. She had not yet finished her presentation when the attendees of the Textile Sustainability Conference began a spontaneous effort, led by the Smallholder Farmers Alliance, to raise funds to help Visit Rico support farm recovery efforts. By the close of the conference attendees had pledged close to $30,000, with individual contributions topped off by corporate donations from Timberland Eileen FisherLenzingWestpoint Home and several other companies represented at the event.

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Timberland Is Helping Rebuild Haiti’s Cotton Industry

[Photo: Thomas Noreille / SFA]REPRINT > Ben Schiller for Fast Company

Can using blockchain to verify cotton as organic help revive the industry in Haiti?

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.

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China is re-assigning 60,000 troops – to plant trees

PLA troops plant trees in central China. Photo: PLA Daily

REPRINT > Asia Times Staff

As the People's Liberation Army looks to downsize, significant numbers of soldiers are being tasked with non-military missions.

China will plant new forests covering an area of 84,000 square kilometers, roughly the size of Ireland, in 2018, as it aims to increase forest coverage to 23% of total landmass by the end of the decade, China Daily reported last week. The current forested area stands at 21%.

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Smallholder Farmers Have Reason to Smile in Haiti

Haitian smallholder Nerlande Dautarn holds a basket of cotton she and other farmers harvested at the
SFA cotton field trial site near Gonaives, Haiti. Photo credit: Thomas Noreille / SFA.
Sometimes a smile can convey more than all the technical reports and excel forecast sheets combined. That was certainly the case last week at a cotton field trial site in Haiti as smallholder farmer Nerlande Dautarn showed off what she and her fellow farmers had just harvested. "This is a great day for Haiti," she beamed, adding "my parents and my grandparents grew cotton not far from here. Now I can tell my children cotton is back after a long time away."

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