Target Partners With Black Farmers and Designers For its ‘Target Forward’ Program
For Black History Month, Target has partnered with Black designers who use cotton grown on Black-owned farms to create their clothes.
According to McKinsey & Company, only 1.4% of U.S. farm owners are Black, which makes this an impressive partnership.
According to Forbes, Target’s partnership with Black farmers aims to sell $2 billion worth of products from Black-owned businesses by 2025 through its Target Forward program. Forbes reports that Target Forward is a pilot program to buy cotton from Black farmers, and supports farmers who employ sustainable growing practices – something that aligns with Target’s environmental goals.
Willie Scott, a third-generation cotton, peanut and corn grower, from Collins, GA. is one of several Black farmers joining forces with Target.
“This farm started in 1940 when my grandfather moved from Tyson, Ga. to Collins and purchased 180 acres of land,” Scott said. “The challenges as a cotton farmer, you’re dealing with the weather, prices, input cost; you could work hard to grow your crop and don’t know what kind of price you’ll get out of it.”
Scott added: “The partnership with Target, you know they are looking for your product, and it’s not just a one-time deal. It’s a big relationship that will open a big window for everyone. You plant cotton, and it’s made into a shirt that you can hold in your hands, it’s just awesome to think about.”
Historically, the Black community has always faced high rates of hunger due to social, economic, and environmental challenges. Farming has been one way to ensure that marginalized communities have access to nutrient-rich foods.
Per, Lawyers Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, over the past century, Black farmers in America have lost more than 12 million acres of farmland because of a combination of systemic racism, biased government policy, and inequitable social and business practices. To address this denial of equitable access to markets, congress recently passed the American Rescue Plan Act, which provided $4 billion to disadvantaged farmers.
“As a company and a member of the global community, it’s imperative for the health of both our business and our planet that we embrace new ways to move forward,“We know sustainability is tied to business resiliency and growth, and that our size and scale can drive change that is good for all. Target Forward influences every corner of our business, deepens our collaboration with our partners and builds on our past efforts to ensure a better future for generations to come.”