Morrisville, NC, April 11, 2022. The VF Foundation announced today that it will join the Soil Health Institute’s (SHI) U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund (USRCF) as a Sustaining Supporter. The USRCF is a unique, farmer-facing, science-based initiative designed to support long-term, sustainable cotton production in the United States, with the goal of eliminating one million metric tons of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2e) from the atmosphere by 2026.
“The VF Foundation is excited to continue its support of the Soil Health Institute and join the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund,” said Gloria Schoch, Executive Director, The VF Foundation and Director of Global Impact, VF Corporation. “This initiative complements our corporate efforts to advance regenerative agricultural practices by taking a farmer-centric approach to scale these practices and measure their impacts when growing cotton, a key material used by VF brands and across the apparel industry.”
The VF Foundation’s support of the USRCF directly contributes to the Institute’s efforts in Texas, where approximately 60% of U.S. cotton is grown. Support will help establish farmer-to-farmer mentoring networks, conduct economic analysis of regenerative soil health systems, increase access and opportunity for minority students in scientific leadership positions, and establish Soil Health and Soil Carbon Targets so growers know how healthy their soils can become and how much carbon they can draw down. In 2019, VF Corporation set ambitious science-based targets and is committed to sourcing 100 percent of its top 9 materials from regenerative, responsibly sourced renewable or recycled sources by 2030, as a key pathway to achieve its climate goals.
“We are grateful for The VF Foundation’s past support that served as a catalyst for establishing the USRCF to assist cotton farmers and their advisors across the U.S. with building resilience to drought and mitigating the effects of climate change,” said Dr. Cristine Morgan, Chief Scientific Officer and leader of the U.S. Regenerative Cotton Fund. “Widespread adoption of regenerative agricultural practices is hindered by lack of information on the business case, locally relevant education programs and grower networks, and locally established Soil Health and Carbon Targets. These measures can arm growers with specific knowledge to demonstrate how much their soil health can improve and how that healthier soil can translate into drought resilience, yield stability, profitability, and drive additional benefits.”
The USRCF works to unite the interests of farmers, partners, and financial supporters around soil health as the foundation for regenerative agriculture. The Fund was initiated in 2021 with a founding grant from the Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation to the Soil Health Institute.
Participating partners of the Fund include Cotton Incorporated, National Cotton Council, and Field to Market.
About the VF Foundation
The VF Foundation is the private grantmaking organization funded by VF Corporation, one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with iconic brands including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Smartwool®, JanSport® and Dickies®. With its partners, The VF Foundation strives to innovate and problem-solve in collaborative ways to drive transformative, lasting change with the vision of creating a more equitable and sustainable world. Established in 2002, the Foundation has granted nearly $60 million globally to meaningfully improve the communities where VF operates. It’s committed to driving movements for the betterment of people and the planet across its key strategic pillars: championing Worthy Work, embracing Outside Matters, empowering creativity and self-expression as we are Free to Be, and supporting Disaster Relief and Recovery. Learn more at https://www.vfc.com/responsibility/the-vf-foundation.
About the Soil Health Institute
The Soil Health Institute is a global non-profit with a mission of safeguarding and enhancing the vitality and productivity of soils through scientific research and advancement. The Institute brings together leaders in soil health science and the industry to conduct research and empower farmers and other landowners with the knowledge to successfully adopt regenerative soil health systems that contribute economic and environmental benefits to agriculture and society. The Institute’s scientific team holds doctorates in various soil science and related disciplines, with specialties in carbon cycling, nutrient cycling, water cycling, nutrient management, farmer and adviser education, ecosystem services, soil-plant relationships, on-farm economics, and others. The Institute’s programs are guided by a comprehensive strategy for advancing adoption of regenerative soil health systems, as briefly described in this 5-minute video. Healthy soils are the foundation for restoring our land. Together, we can create a secure future for all, mitigate the effects of climate change, and help farmers and organizations meet production and environmental goals at scale. Visit www.soilhealthinstitute.org to learn more, and follow us on YouTube, LinkedIn, Twitter, and Facebook.
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