Social media as a driver
With a global audience and limited resources, social media and the website are key channels for Solidaridad’s communications. Throughout 2018 we kept our audiences informed by publishing news and publications about Solidaridad on the site at least twice a week. Social media channels like Twitter, Facebook and LinkedIn are used to alert people to these updates and to invite people to visit our website.
This proves to be a successful strategy, with website visitors increasing from 91,000 to 115,000 in 2018. On our social media we saw similar growth trends. Our LinkedIn followers increased from 8,222 to 10,224 and our Twitter followers increased from 4,326 to 4,753.
Our international monthly newsletter attracted many new loyal readers in 2018. The number of subscribers more than quadrupled from 1,664 to 7,826.
Spreading the word
We had the opportunity to highlight our work at a number of key events in the sector. We were proud to present at the 24th edition of the Climate Conference (COP24), the International Responsible Soy Conference, the Berkeley conference on Innovation in Agrifoods Supply Chains, and the International Palm Oil Sustainability Conference, among others.
Increasingly Solidaridad is also experimenting with new forms of information sharing, like vlogs and podcasts. For now, these tools are mainly used for internal learning, but it’s our ambition to start using them for external communication in the near future.
A highlight worth mentioning was also our feature on the situation in the sugarcane industry at PBS Newshour, reaching over 1.2 million viewers in the United States.
Solidaridad expanded its partnership with Henkel Beauty Care to include the company’s new brand, Nature Box. Solidaridad’s logo is now found on the back of Nature Box’s shampoos, conditioners and shower gels along with the message: “We support local farmers.”
We were also proud to receive the Arrell Food Innovation Award. Solidaridad received the award in recognition of its efforts to harness the power of markets to effect social change on behalf of the smallholder farmers of the world. In April, we won the JSW-Times of India Earth Care Award 2018 for our Sustainable Agriculture, Food Security & Linkages (SaFaL) programme in Bangladesh.
In April, Solidaridad contributed to the launch of the Cocoa Barometer 2018 by engaging international press and facilitated sessions at the World Cocoa Conference in Berlin where more than thousand professionals from the sector were gathered. Solidaridad was a prominent participant of the conference and highly visible, which resulted in better relation building opportunities.
In June, following the publication of the Coffee Barometer 2018, Solidaridad organized the debate ‘Who is paying for the coffee of the future?’. The Rainforest Alliance, Rabobank and development magazine Vice Versa supported the debate, which took place the evening before the World of Coffee event at a location in the heart of the Dutch financial sector. This debate created more awareness about the need to invest in coffee growing regions and the role the financial sector can play.