The Timberland® and Wrangler® Brands and the VF Foundation Support Research on Regenerative Ranching Practices to Improve Farmer Well-Being, Soil Health
Research aims to demonstrate economic and environmental gains for sustainable ranching practices
GREENSBORO, N.C. and STRATHAM, N.H. – May 8 – The VF Foundation and the Timberland® and Wrangler® brands today announced $150,000 in grants to researchers at seven U.S. universities, including Arizona State University and Michigan State University, that are conducting the first comprehensive research into regenerative ranching practices.
Through this multi-year, interdisciplinary research, teams will evaluate if regenerative ranching yields meaningful improvements by comparing its impacts with those of continuous ranching practices. Initial, isolated studies of regenerative farming practices are promising, indicating these techniques could lead to significant environmental, social and economic benefits.
Ranchers and farmers who use regenerative ranching practices mimic the natural movement of herd animals by intensively grazing dense cattle herds in relatively small areas before moving them to other similarly-sized areas. Such grazing allows for more rest and re-growth of the grasses not in use, which can lead to better food for livestock and healthier soil, as these grasses pull carbon out of the atmosphere and store it in the ground. In theory, this makes the land more productive with greater resistance to both drought and heavy rain.
“The Wrangler brand was born out of the American West way of life, so it is important to us to support farmers and ranchers in the challenges they face such as land productivity, development pressures, and loss of biodiversity,” said Tom Waldron, Global Brand President, Wrangler. “Whether it’s funding research or building new supply chains, we’re proud to improve the lives of people who make their living off the land.”
The systems-based research project focuses on 12 interrelated topics including soil carbon and water, greenhouse gas emissions, and livestock well-being and resilience. Of interest to both the Timberland and Wrangler brands is the farmer well-being portion of the study, which focuses on the aspects of ranching that are likely to yield financial benefits for farmers, potentially leading to rapid adoption and future scale. This robust socio-economic study will be linked with the ecological data gathered to provide a holistic view of the social and environmental opportunities.
“As we look to the future, one key element of Timberland’s sustainability strategy is moving beyond minimizing negative impact to strategically create social and environmental benefits within our supply chain,” said Jim Pisani, Global Brand President, Timberland. “We’ve only begun to truly understand the environmental, economic, social, and humane benefits of regenerative grazing. We are energized by the prospect of a net-positive leather source, and incredibly proud to be leading the way in supporting this important research.”
The Timberland® and Wrangler® brands are working to pilot a leather supply chain based on traceable hides from U.S. farms using regenerative practices, with the goal to launch leather product collections incorporating leather from this supply chain in 2020.
VF Corporation established the VF Foundation in 2002 for charitable, scientific and educational purposes. The Foundation supports organizations working in the arts, community services, education, families and children, health care, environmental sustainability and science.
About VF Corporation
VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) outfits consumers around the world with its diverse portfolio of iconic lifestyle brands, including Vans®, The North Face®, Timberland®, Wrangler® and Lee®. Founded in 1899, VF is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies, product categories and distribution channels. VF is committed to delivering innovative products to consumers and creating long-term value for its customers and shareholders. For more information, visit www.vfc.com.
About the Timberland® Brand
Timberland is a global leader in the design, manufacturing and marketing of premium footwear, apparel and accessories for the outdoor lifestyle. Best known for its original yellow boot introduced in 1973, the Timberland® brand today outfits consumers from toe-to-head, with versatile collections that reflect the brand’s rich heritage of craftsmanship, function and style. Timberland brand markets lifestyle products under the Timberland® and Timberland Boot Company® brands, and industrial footwear and workwear under the Timberland PRO® brand. Its products are sold throughout the world in leading department and specialty stores as well as company-owned retail locations and online.
Timberland’s dedication to making quality products is matched by an unwavering commitment to environmental and social responsibility – to make it better with respect to responsible products, protecting and restoring the outdoors, and supporting communities around the globe.To learn more about Timberland, a brand of VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), please visit timberland.com or follow us @timberland.
About the Wrangler® Brand
Wrangler has been an icon in authentic American style around the world for more than 70 years. With a rich legacy rooted in the American west, Wrangler commits to offering unmatched quality and timeless design. Its collections for men, women and children look and feel great, inspiring those who wear them to be strong and ready for life, every day.
Wrangler is available in retail stores worldwide, including brand flagship stores in Denver and Dallas, department stores, mass-market retailers, specialty shops, western outfitters, and online. A VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC) brand, Wrangler is backed by one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies with socially and environmentally responsible operations spanning numerous geographies. For more information, visit Wrangler.com.