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Smallholder Farmers Alliance Blog

Thursday
Apr282016

Timberland joins forces with Haitian farmers to rejuvenate barren lands

Timberland is exploring the idea of buying organic cotton from Haiti after a successful project helping
local farmers plant trees. Photograph: A F Cortes 

REPRINT > by Larissa Zimberoff for Guardian Sustainable Business

Project to help farmers in Haiti earn a living from planting fruit trees has given way to a more ambitious goal to farm sustainable cotton on the island.

In 2010, just prior to the 7.0 magnitude earthquake that hit Haiti, American shoe and apparel company Timberland announced it would plant 5m trees on the widely deforested and impoverished island. After the earthquake hit, Timberland’s then CEO, Jeff Swartz, visited the country and was faced with two options: pivot to support the massive earthquake recovery, or keep the focus on planting trees.

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Friday
Apr222016

Timberland & Smallholder Farmers Alliance Finalists for 2016 Classy Award

Photo: A. F. CORTES

Timberland’s partnership with the Smallholder Farmers Alliance in Haiti has been acknowledged as one of the 100 most innovative nonprofits and social enterprises of 2016—all of which are finalists for this year’s Classy Awards (scroll down to find “Timberland”).

Classy Awards finalists are a prestigious group selected for their excellence in social innovation and ability to solve a social problem. This year, Classy had 1,300 nominations and the competition was at an all-time high. The application process was rigorous and intensive, and we were judged using stringent criteria that assesses an organization's potential to solve a problem and innovative solution.

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Wednesday
Apr132016

Planting of Genetically Modified Crops Declined in 2015

Soybean fields in Iowa. Low commodity prices have led farmers to plant fewer soybeans, both genetically
engineered and nonengineered. Credit: Ryan Donnell for The New York Times

REPRINT > by Andrew Pollack for the New York Times

The world’s farmers have increased their use of genetically modified crops steadily and sharply since the technology became broadly commercialized in 1996. Not anymore.

In 2015, for the first time, the acreage used for the crops declined, according to a nonprofit that tracks the plantings of biotech seeds.

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Wednesday
Apr062016

Dumping Peanuts on Haiti

Peanuts being sorted before roasting in Haiti. (Photo: Cory Flanagin)REPRINT > Marc Cohen, Oxfam America

The people of Haiti deserve better agriculture solutions than extra peanuts from the American people.

When I was working in Haiti for Oxfam following the devastating earthquake in 2010, I became fond of mamba, the local version of peanut butter. It looks a lot like what we would buy here in the USA, but it’s less salty or sweet than the typical American spread. And before taking a big bite out of bread or cassava crackers spread with mamba, you will want to take a much more careful sample, because it’s usually spiced up with Scotch bonnet or habanero chili peppers. Once you get used to this nutty, spicy mix, it is definitely a taste worth acquiring.

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Timberland Commissions Study to Test Feasibility of Reintroducing Cotton as Haitian Export Crop

Timberland, Smallholder Farmers Alliance and Impact Farming Join Forces to Explore Expansion of Successful Sustainable Agroforestry Model in Haiti

STRATHAM, N.H., March 22, 2016 – Global outdoor lifestyle brand Timberland, Impact Farming and Haiti-based Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) today announced the launch of a new feasibility study exploring the possibility of reintroducing cotton as an export crop for Haitian smallholder farmers. If the study proves successful, the opportunities for organic cotton farming in Haiti are extensive, and companies like Timberland can one day transition from being early supporters of the SFA agroforestry enterprise to being its customers.

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Tuesday
Mar222016

Trees Deal With Climate Change Better Than Expected

Trees in temperate forests, like these redwoods in Northern California, may adapt to climate change by
releasing less carbon dioxide than previously predicted by scientists. CreditGetty Images
REPRINT > by Tatiana Schlossberg for New York Times

The bend-don’t-break adaptability of trees extends to handling climate change, according to a new study that says forests may be able to deal with hotter temperatures and contribute less carbon dioxide to the atmosphere than scientists previously thought.

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Wednesday
Feb172016

New Whole Foods Market Products Connect Haiti Farmers to U.S. Consumers

Haitian smallholder farmers holding moringa leaves and cacao pods along with the new products made
from each: Kuli Kuli’s Moringa Green Energy shots (left) and Taza Chocolate’s Stone Ground Haiti
bar (right). These two items debuted at Whole Foods Market in the U.S. this month, marking an export
milestone for Haitian agriculture. Photo: Sebastian Petion.

How a Natural Energy Shot and an Organic Chocolate Bar Are Changing Agriculture in Haiti

PORT-AU-PRINCE, HAITI, February 17, 2016 -- Two new products debuted this month in the U.S. at Whole Foods Market stores nationwide—Kuli Kuli’s Moringa Green Energy shots and Taza Chocolate’s Stone Ground Haiti bar—and ingredients for both are sourced directly from smallholder farmers in Haiti. This direct market access, combined with helping farmers to improve and expand, means increased incomes in Haiti while consumers in the U.S. benefit from high quality products. And for a severely deforested nation like Haiti, an additional benefit is that more trees get planted as both items are derived from trees. 

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Monday
Jan042016

Haiti Documentary Screening in Ossining on January 10th

Kombit: The Cooperative tells the inspiring story of how Ossining resident Hugh Locke and Haitian agronomist Timote Georges worked with thousands of small-scale farmers in Haiti to plant 5 million trees and double their organic crop yields at the same time. Using charitable funds to incubate a range of farmer-owned agroforestry businesses and processing operations for export, the extraordinary results have gained international attention. Could this be a model for addressing the combined global challenges of food security and deforestation?

Free Haiti Documentary Screening and Q+A With Hugh Locke

Ossining Public Library Budarz Theatre @53 Croton Ave, Ossining, NY

2:30pm SUNDAY January 10, 2016