Puerto Rico Cotton Fund
On Wednesday, October 11th 2017, The Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA) along with Yanna Muriel Mohan, Farmer and Agricultural Manager of Visit Rico, delivered a heart-wrenching message to 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference attendees about the devastating impact of Hurricane Maria on organic smallholder farmers in Puerto Rico. The Puerto Rico Cotton Fund was launched and over $30,000 dollars were pledged to go towards immediate help including emergency micro-grants to smallholder farm families and the development of a smallholder recovery program in Puerto Rico. We will keep the fund open to the end of the year – so if you didn’t have a chance to give at the conference – send us an email and we’ll get you included in this great project (Communications@TextileExchange.org).
Photo to right: Yanna Muriel Mohan, Farmer and Agricultural Manager of Visit Rico along with LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director and Co-founder of Textile Exchange (Erika Nizborksi Photography)
Connecting the dots between the Timberland panel discussion on sustainable cotton and the devastation faced by smallholder farmers in Puerto Rico, we mobilized efforts and used the momentum of the conference to address this pressing issue. Within hours, we had devised a plan to launch the Puerto Rico Cotton Fund, half of which will be dispersed as emergency micro-grants to smallholder farm families and the other half will be used to develop a smallholder recovery program in Puerto Rico including, but not limited to, an organic cotton model that follows the one being used in Haiti. It was incredible to see how quickly everyone responded when this opportunity presented itself.Zack Angelini, Environmental Stewardship Manager at Timberland
Photos above from the 2017 Textile Sustainability Conference. Photo to right: Timote Georges, Executive Director of the Smallholder Farmers Alliance (SFA),Hugh Locke (second from left), President of the SFA and President of Impact Farming, Yanna Muriel Mohan, Farmer and Agricultural Manager of Visit Rico, and LaRhea Pepper, Managing Director of Textile Exchange.