Minnesota-based cooperative partners with market leader in hemp production
40-acre Cooperative focuses on bringing equity and innovation to Black and Indigenous farmers and Charlotte's Web Holdings is a market leader in the production and distribution of hemp-derived CBD wellness products under a family of brands.
A mentorship program called "Seeding Our Future, Together" has been launched by Minnesota-based 40-acre Cooperative and Colorado-based Charlotte's Web Holdings.
40-acre Cooperative is the first national cooperative to serve Black farmers in over 100 years, according to its website, and the goal of the partnership with Charlotte's Web Holdings is to begin to reverse the woeful underrepresentation of Black farmers, businesspeople, scientists and leaders in the hemp industry.
"Greater diversity in our company and in the hemp industry may not happen swiftly, but working together with The 40-acre Coop on our new 'Seeding Our Future, Together' mentor program is a way to move forward by sharing our knowledge, our science and our cultivation expertise with Black farmers and other agricultural leaders in the black community," said Deanie Elsner, president and CEO of Charlotte's Web.
Troubling statistics — like there only being 45,508 Black farmers in the United States, when there were close to a million in 1920 — were what led hemp farmer Angela Dawson to take action to reverse those numbers. She founded the Minneapolis-based co-op in 2019.
"This is the beginning of an important shift in the industry and we intend to use this momentum to create lasting and impactful change ," said Dawson, who is also the president 40-acre Cooperative.
The 40-acre Cooperative will advise and educate Charlotte's Web employees and leadership team on challenges and opportunities for the Black hemp farming and manufacturing community, beginning with an introduction lunch.
Also part of "Growing Our Future, Together," Charlotte's Web will donate some of its patented Lindorea hemp seed to 40-acre Cooperative farmers for the 2021 growing season.
"This collaboration is important for our entire hemp industry so it may achieve a wider potential for innovation through diversity," said Jared Stanley, CCO for Charlotte's Web.