VF Corporation Named to FORTUNE 2023 ‘Change the World’ List for First Global Regenerative Rubber Supply System
DENVER – September 27, 2023 – VF Corporation (NYSE: VFC), a leading portfolio of lifestyle brands, has been named to the Fortune 2023 “Change the World” list, which showcases the power of capitalism to improve the human condition by identifying companies that have made an important social or environmental impact through their profit-making strategy and operations. Fortune spotlighted VF Corporation’s contribution to the development of the apparel and footwear industry’s first verified regenerative rubber supply system.
Regenerative agriculture encompasses a variety of ecologically and socially conscious practices, which aim to revitalize biodiversity, enhance water cycles, improve soil health and sequester carbon. This approach not only improves the impact of growing practices and enhances wellbeing for farmers, it also builds resiliency within the local landscape and economy. Consumers can find footwear that incorporates rubber grown using regenerative agriculture practices offered at several of VF’s family of brands including Vans?, The North Face? and Timberland?.
In 2020, VF Corporation partnered with Terra Genesis, a regenerative design and development firm connecting brands with growers, who developed the first of its kind Regenerative Outcome Verified – ROV? rubber supply system. Working together, VF Corporation, Terra Genesis and farmers launched this project in Thailand, supporting over 300 farmers transforming their farms into highly diversified forest gardens, increasing biodiversity of animals, insects, and microbes, decreasing soil moisture loss, and creating cooler and more favorable microclimates.
“VF Corporation is deeply honored to receive this prestigious recognition for our collaborative work to advance regenerative rubber farming practices in Thailand, which exemplifies the power of collective action,” said Jeannie Renné-Malone, Vice President of Global Sustainability at VF Corporation. “Our partnerships with the farmers and Terra Genesis have been critical in advancing this sustainable sourcing initiative from a pilot into a scalable supply chain.”
The Wanakaset farmers in Thailand are the driving force in this program and their leadership and community-led approach have been central to its success. They recognize the urgent need to regenerate their lands and watersheds, restore local biodiversity, and honor their traditional relationship with nature for sustenance, medicine, and spiritual well-being. These forest gardens also support additional income streams and community food sovereignty with value-added products like coffee, coconut, herbs, spices, and timber.
‘’We are proud to partner with VF on the development of the Regenerative Rubber Alliance, which we believe represents a profound shift in the way that brands and smallholder farmers relate to, and work with, one another. We're grateful for VF’s leadership in bringing this important initiative to fruition and are excited to continue to grow the demand for regenerative rubber and complementary crops. We acknowledge that for regenerative agriculture to bring about truly transformative outcomes, it must involve a paradigmatic shift in the role of business and markets; Terra Genesis has served as an enabler for this initiative, but since its inception, our farmer partners have been the true agents of change leading the way. We celebrate their traditional ways of knowing, agroecological approaches and food sovereignty efforts,” said Luke Smith, CEO, Terra Genesis. “We look forward to continued cross-industry partnerships and innovation in the years to come.
Brand partners such as Timberland?, Vans?, and The North Face?, added weight and recognition to the effort, driving demand and accelerating adoption among farmers, local agencies, policymakers, and consumers. With robust regional support, the initiative aims to reach at least 30,000 farmers by 2030, with the vision and goal to shift the whole Thale Songkhla Watershed to regenerative farming systems. This watershed comprises over 1 million acres of orchards and tree plantation.
“We are excited to participate in this important initiative that helps advance change towards a brighter and more regenerative future,” said Renné-Malone. “Our hope is that through collaborative efforts with partners we can build supply chains that will benefit the wider manufacturing world across our industry and beyond while also positively impacting communities and ecosystems.”
As VF Corporation continues to expand its regenerative initiatives and product lines, it reaffirms its commitment to promoting sustainable lifestyles for the betterment of people and the planet. The company’s inclusion on Fortune’s Change the World list for the second year in a row serves as a testament to VF Corporation's role as a leader in addressing pressing global challenges and advancing regenerative practices in the industry.
About VF Corporation
Founded in 1899, VF Corporation is one of the world’s largest apparel, footwear and accessories companies connecting people to the lifestyles, activities and experiences they cherish most through a family of iconic outdoor, active and workwear brands including Vans?, The North Face?, Timberland? and Dickies?. Our purpose is to power movements of sustainable and active lifestyles for the betterment of people and our planet. We connect this purpose with a relentless drive to succeed to create value for all stakeholders and use our company as a force for good. For more information, please visit vfc.com.