Progress that matters

As awareness of environmental challenges continues to mount, both private and government players increasingly recognize that a sustainable, climate-resilient approach to global trade is key. To address these challenges, Solidaridad’s global network worked with over 632,000 farmers, miners and workers to adopt good practices - beating our own targets by reaching 20,000 more people than we’d aimed to. We also helped to improve the income of 235,000 producers by engaging stakeholders within 334 projects. Together our partners and experts brought nearly a million hectares of land under climate-smart management practices.

Highlights of 2018


    Our focus is to realize the potential of aquaculture to support more resilient coastal communities. In Bangladesh, the SaFal food security programme worked with more than 8,000 shrimp farmers in 2018 to cumulatively supporting 37,000 farmers. The programme aims to increase competitiveness in production and supply of quality aquaculture products to domestic and export markets. We initiated a new project in India supporting 2000 shrimp farmers to develop good practices, as well as policy support to engage with EU importers.

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    Across our cocoa programmes we helped improve farmer-level productivity. For example, in Liberia, farmers planted 382,000 hybrid cocoa seedlings on newly established farms translating to 45,000 hectares of land. In Cote d’Ivoire, we supported the set up of 393 Village Savings and Loans Associations with a membership of 8,150 (94% women). The aim is to empower women, develop a savings culture and facilitate access to affordable finance for women cocoa farmers in Cote d’Ivoire.

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  • Coffee

    2018 was a year of consolidation, exchange and influence for our coffee programme. We launched a major initiative in East Africa to transform 15,000 coffee farmers’ production systems in Kenya, Uganda and Tanzania by 2021, ran an exchange for our global coffee teams in Colombia and Peru to enhance our climate-smart coffee technical package, and launched the 2018’s Coffee Barometer with more than 100 industry leaders as part of the World of Coffee event in Europe.

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  • Cotton

    We established two organic cotton and water programmes in India’s Maharashtra state, aiming to reach 30,000 farmers. Cotton production accounts for 54% of total pesticides used in Indian agriculture, causing immense ecological and human hazards. In Brazil, we continued to support smallholder cotton production in semi-arid conditions. Six of seven pilot farmers who switched to irrigated production recorded increases in productivity of 155% on average, with peaks of +643% per hectare.

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  • Dairy

    Commissioned by the World Bank, Solidaridad developed a holistic vision to create a competitive and climate-smart dairy sector in East Africa by increasing integration within the value chain. In line with this vision, we worked with more than 23,000 farmers in Bangladesh to offer support in business development. We also worked with private partners to develop a programme for medium-sized dairy farms in Myanmar, as well as launching a dairy innovation programme in Tanzania.

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  • Fruit & Vegetables

    In Asia, the SaFaL programme supported almost 18,000 farmers (52% women) and market actors to achieve greater productivity through the adoption of sustainable technologies in production and post-harvest management. In Africa, we commissioned an agricultural status report in Zambia to gain a greater understanding of the fruit and vegetable sectors in-country. And Ecuador adopted the Banana Occupational Health and Safety manual developed by Solidaridad, which will impact the integrity, safety and well-being of 220,000 banana workers.

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  • Gold

    In Bolivia, we supported the National Network of Female Miners, building up leadership and advocacy capacity in over 200 female miners. In East and Central Africa, we undertook an economic, social and governance assessment of the mines participating in our projects to identify capacity gaps and design mine improvement plans. In West Africa, we participated in policy engagement with the multi-sectoral mining integrated project in gender, capacity building and re-categorization of mines in Ghana.

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  • Livestock

    In Zambia, we launched a pilot livestock programme focusing on grazing land, climate mitigation and resilience. The project seeks to restore practices that help the ecosystem thrive while increasing knowledge around cattle breeding from the market perspective. In Paraguay, we supported small-scale dairy producers to adopt climate-smart technologies to improve herds’ resilience to sustained droughts in Dry Chaco. This increased dairy productivity by 17%, which led to two new cooperatives to adopt climate-smart technologies.

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  • Palm oil

    Our corporate partner Henkel launched a new beauty care product line 'Nature Box' with Solidaridad’s logo on the pack, and the tagline: 'We support local farmers'. Since 2012 Henkel has invested in seven Solidaridad palm oil improvement projects in Indonesia, Ghana, Nigeria, Colombia, Mexico, Nicaragua and Honduras. Together we’ve reached nearly 25,000 farmers with a combined area of nearly 300,000 hectares. Overall an average yield increase of 16% has been reported since the collaboration started.

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  • Soy

    Across the soy-producing regions, Solidaridad supported local actors to improve supply chains, making them more robust and transparent, and developing awareness about deforestation issues. Over 1.65 million hectares were brought under improved management production systems and 4.9 million tons of responsible soy were produced. In eastern Paraguay and southern Brazil, we worked to support smallholders with environmental, social and economic issues including legal compliance and integrating digital solutions.

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  • Sugarcane

    Solidaridad’s teams in Brazil and Colombia scaled up and increased outreach through digital solutions under the ELO, Muda Cana and Pro Cana programme covering 363,000 hectares and production of 24 million tons. In South Africa, Zambia and Malawi our capacity building programmes supported almost 5,000 farmers. In India, we trained 27,000 farmers and 60,000 hectares of land were brought under sustainable agriculture covering 13 mills.

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  • Tea

    In Indonesia, Solidaridad provided technical support to 30,000 smallholder farmers to access loans available from the Indonesian government to allow them to develop small tea processing factories. We also facilitated the signing of a historic agreement between ITA and UPASI (India), China Tea Marketing Association (China) and Indonesian Tea Marketing Association for a pan-Asia coordination of sustainability initiatives. For the first time, all three countries recognized each other’s sustainability frameworks for improving the tea sector.

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  • Textiles

    Solidaridad set up a mill improvement and capacity building programmes in China that work to reduce the environmental impact of the textile wet processing industry (which involves water, energy, chemicals and waste water). After successful in China, we expanded the programme to Ethiopia and we’re now working with the Apparel Impact Institute and four other organizations and initiatives (IDH, SIWI, NRDC, IFC) towards global-scaling of mill improvement programmes.

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By Mariam Dao Gabala
Chair of the International Supervisory Board

The year 2018 proved itself to be quite challenging, globally speaking. While awareness continued to grow around the subject of sustainability and the desperate state of our planet’s environment, we recognize there is a huge amount of work to be done if we want to slow, and ideally put a stop to, the already devastating impacts of climate change.

That said, as ever, we are incredibly thankful and proud of all Solidaridad Network staff working around the globe in our eight regional offices across five continents. Without them, we wouldn’t have been able to continue our strategic partnerships with companies and government agencies. And we wouldn’t have reached so many farmers who have seen an increase in their income and adopted better production practices. What we do is having a real, sustainable impact.

In this year’s annual report you’ll find many stories of our achievements around the world in spite of wide-ranging political, environmental and economic conditions affecting many of the regions in which we work.


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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