Strategies that matter

In 2015, Solidaridad evaluated its sustainable development agenda and laid the foundation for moving forward with an evolved strategy for the next five years. Climate change and worker health were prominent international themes that influenced Solidaridad's work. With a new strategy and ongoing organizational growth, Solidaridad is rising to meet the challenges ahead by building upon a history of achievement, including major results for farmers, miners and workers.

Highlights of 2015

  • Andes

    Solidaridad Andes has made a significant impact in sustainable coffee in 2015. Almost 60% of coffee production in Colombia is now sustainable certified or verified and we have supported 80,373 smallholders in producing more sustainable coffee. In the gold sector, we have been working on improving legislation for artisanal miners. In other sectors, environmental and climate change issues were high on the agenda and led to concrete improvements in dealing with water contamination and deforestation.

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  • Central America

    Measurable results, proven innovation, published research and increased international visibility led to strengthened multi-actor engagement in multiple sectors. The stage is set for upscaling interventions at national and regional levels. Sectors move from farm to landscape in continual improvement schemes. Efficiency and leverage matter as good practices are increasingly considered “business as usual”.

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  • China

    With growing concerns over water scarcity and climate change, Solidaridad leads with sustainability as a viable investment for the future of the Chinese market.

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  • East & Central Africa

    Solidaridad East & Central Africa made concerted efforts to explore new partnerships and funding opportunities. In early 2015, Solidaridad was awarded a pilot project by Ford Foundation and aBi Trust for fruits, vegetables and barley in Uganda. Solidaridad won a grant for a food security project from the Netherlands Enterprise Agency and Comic Relief gave a grant to Solidaridad for a food security project in Ethiopia. By the end of 2015, opportunities arose for policy influencing under Solidaridad’s new strategy.

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  • The Netherlands

    Europe is dealing with tough issues like the debt crisis, refugees, terrorism and weak economic growth. Public support for international collaboration and foreign aid is under pressure. In the corporate world, the Volkswagen scandal damaged public trust in how industry adheres to the law. Solidaridad’s answer to these growing populist and nationalist sentiments is clearly described in the new multi-annual strategy. To solve the big global issues of the next generation, we need more international collaboration, institutional reforms and good governance.

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  • North America

    Solidaridad North America continues to develop significant partnerships with companies, foundations and government agencies, engaging in an ever-widening range of activities. The highlight of the year was the consummation of a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation to implement a five-year, $15 million youth empowerment programme in the cocoa sector of Ghana, starting in 2016.

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  • South America

    The Natural Beef Standards was launched in Paraguay with active support from Solidaridad for the ARP, the main producer association in the country. Cattle ranchers who raise cattle with natural grasses, free of hormones and antibiotics as well as with protected forest corridors, have now organized codes of conduct and guides adapted to the local situation and regulations in Paraguay. The Rural Horizons tool developed by Solidaridad is helping producers in self-assessment and continual improvement.

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  • South & South-East Asia

    Solidaridad signed two major agreements on sustainable and water efficient production for palm oil and sugarcane in India. The agreements were signed in the presence of Dutch Prime Minister Mark Rutte. The palm oil programme aims to save around 1 trillion litres of water over five years while supporting 50,000 smallholders. The sugarcane programme supports 35,000 sugarcane farmers in partnership with Ruchi Soya, NSL Sugar Limited, Rajshree Sugars and Chemicals Limited.

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  • Southern Africa

    Solidaridad Southern Africa had a very interesting and challenging year. There was a major internal change at senior management level while external economic, environmental and sociopolitical conditions were rapidly changing in the focus countries. These changes were driven by the shifts in global markets and the effects of climate change. Solidaridad continued its work in the cotton, fruits, vegetables, livestock, sugarcane and soy sectors.

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  • West Africa

    In 2015, Solidaridad West Africa continued its engagement with supply chain stakeholders in cocoa, oil palm, gold, and maize. This resulted in enhanced capacities of the producers and improved livelihoods of households. Through the promotion and adoption of best management practices and provision of supportive infrastructure, significant yield increases were recorded. For example, there was an average yield increase of about 50% in cocoa, 160% in oil palm and 67% in maize.

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Foreword By Nico Roozen

In everything we do, we recognize that success is founded on the strength of our network organization and our partnerships. We have taken every opportunity to encourage businesses to take on sustainability commitments for the benefit of their business and the communities in which they work.

In 2015, in a review on a global scale, the Solidaridad Network took stock of its commodity programmes and the implementation of strategies for moving beyond certification. The process, and the results, have led to a new five-year strategy for intense, transformative action before 2020 that you can read about in the strategy section of this report. Our approach for the coming years has received the support of diverse national governments and our major partners, culminating in our “AMBITION 2020” multi-annual strategy that was launched in Ghana at the beginning of 2016.

Programme investments in thousand euros


Annual expenditures in thousand euros


In September 2015, we launched the “Sugarcane: Fuel for Change” campaign and generated strategic discussions with partners both through social media and in person about better working conditions for sugarcane cutters. The initiative “Fruit for Thought”, launched in October 2015 at the AIJN Juice Summit in Antwerp, engaged leaders within governments, corporations and universities about using technology creatively to empower farmers to monitor and improve their own agricultural practices. In November, we sent an international delegation to the UN Climate Conference in Paris to reach out to business leaders about Solidaridad’s vision for sustainable landscape development.

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Creating change that matters

The Solidaridad Network is registered as a foundation at the Chamber of Commerce in Utrecht, the Netherlands, under the number 51756811.

Network Secretariat
't Goylaan 15
Utrecht 3525 AA
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0)30 275 94 50

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