Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation has launched a program for regenerative cotton with the Soil Health Institute.
The program aims to support long-term sustainable cotton production in America and eliminate 1 million metric tons carbon dioxide from our atmosphere by 2026. The US Regenerative Cotton Fund (USRCF), is funded by a five-million dollar grant from Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation. This initiative aims to encourage and educate farmers about regenerative farming practices such as no till and cover cropping.
The USRCF funding is part of Ralph Lauren’s Global Citizenship and Sustainability goals, as cotton accounts for around 80 percent. The brand committed to sourcing sustainably 100 percent of its key materials by 2020.
Roseann Lynch, chief people officer at Ralph Lauren and head of Ralph Lauren Corporate Foundation, stated that “partnering to scale solutions which build community resilience is a powerful way to positively impact people’s lives.”
It also aims at ensuring that farmers increase their profitability and create long-term value through the implementation of sustainable practices. The USRCF began in Arkansas, Texas and Mississippi, and plans to expand into Alabama and North Carolina, Missouri and California. These nine states account for 85 percent of US cotton production.
Dr. Christine Morgan, chief scientist officer at the Soil Health Institute and leader in the USRCF, stated that regenerative agriculture can have widespread environmental benefits.
The Soil Health Institute will measure improvements in soil health and carbon sequestration using an approach. USRCF will also create mentoring programs for future scientists and leaders in agriculture. It will also interact with Historically Black Colleges and Universities to improve access to decision-making positions in US agriculture.