VF Corporation Government Affairs and Political Activity
VF Corporation deploys government affairs strategies to help shape public policy issues that benefit our company, industry, and the consumers and communities we serve. We believe it’s important for companies like ours to actively participate in political and regulatory processes so that our voice and positions are heard and understood by governments and policy makers around the world.
Led by our Government Affairs function based in Denver, Colorado, VF engages in lobbying activities that support long-term competitiveness and innovation throughout the apparel and footwear sector. Our team maintains ongoing dialogue with public officials and their staff across all levels of government -- federal, state, and local -- to carry out this mission. VF’s strategies and actions are guided by the company’s business interests and its Purpose-led commitments and are conducted without regard to the private political preferences of its officers and/or executives. All Government Affairs engagements and political activities are fully aligned with our legal obligations, Purpose and Guiding Principles, and our Code of Business Conduct.
Government Affairs at VF focuses on policy priorities that are connected to issues relevant to our business landscape and our Purpose, such as Free Trade, Human Rights, Public Lands in the United States, Climate Impact, and Environmental Justice.
VF’s compliance program includes policies, training and compliance with legal reporting requirements, directives on political spending, a process for public disclosures and a consultant due diligence framework.
Our Chief Human Resources Officer (CHRO) and Executive Vice President of Public Affairs is responsible for government affairs activities. The CHRO is a member of the Executive Leadership Team (ELT) and reports directly to VF’s Chairman, President and CEO. VF’s Government Affairs Council, which includes members of the ELT and other subject matter experts and thought leaders across the business, oversee advocacy efforts and are briefed at least quarterly on the government affairs strategy and activities.
Relevant departments, functions, and individuals across the enterprise receive Government Affairs and Political Activity Training biannually. The training provides guidance on corporate and personal political activity, lobbying, gifts, travel and entertainment to Government/covered officials, and involvement in trade and industry organizations.
VF’s political engagement activity and lobbying is conducted in accordance with applicable laws, policies and procedures, sound corporate practice, and our high standards of ethical conduct.
VF employs lobbyists and retains external lobbying firms to advance our key priorities. As per the requirements in the Honest Leadership and Open Government Act, VF lobbyists file quarterly activity reports with the Clerk of the U.S. House of Representatives and Secretary of the U.S. Senate. Government Engagement and Lobbying Code of Ethics training is provided to all VF associates that may engage with elected officials or their staff. Additionally, all lobbying activity for the corporation is logged through an internal compliance database.
Principles governing our approach to political expenditures include the following:
- VF does not endorse or make campaign contributions to federal, state, or local candidates.
- VF does not make contributions in support of or in opposition to ballot initiatives.
- VF does not participate in electioneering communication to our associates or anyone outside the company.
- VF does not have a Political Action Committee (PAC).
- VF does partner and work with various third parties -- such as trade associations, coalitions, civil society initiatives, and international organizations – to communicate and advance our positions on key issues. VF conducts regular reviews of the work performed by our trade associations and industry groups, either on VF’s behalf or more broadly, to ensure continued alignment with our interests, business strategies, and Purpose-led commitments.
Following is a list of U.S.-based organizations to which VF has contributed (1) trade association payments of $25,000 or more and their non-tax-deductible portions; (2) payments to IRS 527 entities; and (3) payments to advocacy organizations that engage in political activities such as 501(c)(4) organizations.
|Organization||Total Dues||Non-Deductible Percentage|
|American Apparel and Footwear Association||$150,000||15.3%|
|Clean Energy Buyers Association||$25,000||1%|
|Denver Metro Chamber||$100,000||3.25%|
|Footwear Distributors and Retailers of America||$60,000||0%|
|HR Policy Association||$25,450||60%|
|National Retail Federation||$38,000||100%|
|North Carolina Chamber||$25,500||24%|
|Outdoor Industry Association||$340,000||55%|
|Retail Industry Leaders Association||$65,000||65%|
|US Chamber of Commerce||$50,000||25%|