Timberland Haiti and President Clinton: Remembering and Rebuilding
Categories: Boots With Roots: Tree Planting, Making Our Difference: TBL CSR, Who We Are, What We Do: TBL Culture & People
Timberland’s vice president of supply chain, Gareth Brooks, shared the following update with the Timberland community today. 2 years after the Haiti earthquake, our commitment to helping that nation rebuild continues.
On Wednesday, just one day before the 2nd anniversary of the earthquake in Haiti, I had the honor of hosting former President Bill Clinton at our new factory there. He came, along with staff from The Clinton Foundation, to raise awareness for the continued need for economic development in Haiti – and today, January 12, he’ll attend memorial services for the victims.
Two years later, the country is still devastated by the effect of the earthquake and governmental efforts to rebuild are progressing slowly. Timberland has opened a factory in Haiti not only because it makes good commercial sense, but also because it supports our commitment to community. We’re making products that require specific skills to create, and we’re providing the extensive training required to do so; Haiti doesn’t have a heritage of shoemaking, but our dedicated Haitian staff have demonstrated a willingness to learn.
Since the factory opened in June, we have recruited and trained nearly 150 employees to make handsewn uppers. Our expansion within the facility continues, and next spring we plan to open our first cut-to-box manufacturing line which will produce our first “Made In Haiti” classic handsewns.
In addition to creating jobs and training people to fill them, Timberland also has a significant agro-forestry program in Haiti that combines tree planting and farmer education in a way that is community-managed, self-financed and replicable. Three hundred local farmers volunteer to operate the tree nurseries that supply trees for food, fuel and building material. And, the program is designed to develop each nursery to be self-sustaining after 3 years. Our program has already resulted in almost 2 million trees planted in Haiti; in one of the most deforested nations in the world, the importance of trees can’t be underestimated.
I was proud to join our team in Haiti yesterday, as they shared with President Clinton this amazing facility and the progress we’re making in both manufacturing great products and engaging in the local community.
Tags: agroforestry, community revitalization, Haiti earthquake, Made in Haiti, President Clinton, reforestation, The Clinton Foundation, Timberland, Timberland Haiti, Timberland products, tree planting, Yele Vert