Solidaridad South America

Fertile ground

Solidaridad South America is making agriculture sustainable through legal compliance. Various triggers encourage farmers to improve their practice: scarcity of labour, a growing preference by buyers for risk-free, certified and legally compliant suppliers, stronger forestry regulation, and the need to create sustainable landscapes.

However, established buyers such as the EU, USA and Japan, with their more demanding trading standards, are losing ground to domestic markets and Asia.

Our partnerships with large brands, local businesses, communities, civil society and government are helping farmers to adopt low-risk, legally compliant working methods.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • Solidaridad is helping miners and producer families to implement voluntary sustainability standards.
  • Our main partners are Unilever, the Rainforest Alliance (tea), Agropalma, RSPO (palm oil), Bonsucro, Shell/Cosan (sugarcane), Anapo, Los Grobo, INTA, Fapcen, Syngenta, DAP, RTRS, IDH, and SALSA partners (soy).
  • The Rural Horizons programme encourages farmers to compete on quality by introducing more advanced systems. It involves hundreds of beef, sugarcane, soy and cotton producers who together cultivate more than 70,000 hectares.
  • Sustainable landscaping has begun in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest and Chaco regions in collaboration with Norad, Moore, IDH, and FSP as donors, and ICV, Moises Bertoni, UNDP, ProYungas as partners.

Tea: Causing a stir

Solidaridad’s partnerships with a range of companies are helping them source sustainable tea from smallholders in East and Southern Africa, South America, China, India, Sri Lanka, Vietnam and Indonesia. Four large tea producing groups will soon be verified under the Trustea draft code, helping to produce millions of kilos of sustainable tea.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • In Argentina, hectares have been brought under sustainable management practices and tonnes of tea have been certified.
  • The next step is to include Yerba Mate, an infusion widely consumed in Argentina, Paraguay, Brazil and Uruguay, in the certification programme. Most small-scale tea farmers who have adopted sustainable practices also produce Yerba Mate.

Soy: Seeds of recovery

Solidaridad manages the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) Soy Fast Track Fund. Low demand for RTRS soy, partly as a result of traditional buyers such as the EU no longer dominating the market, is a major challenge.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • The amount of soy certified through the Roundtable on Responsible Soy (RTRS) has increased significantly, with thousands of tonnes produced by newly certified farmers.
  • In Bolivia, Soldaridad has brought together the most important participants in the supply chain to agree a national interpretation of RTRS standards.
  • British retailer Marks & Spencer signed a three-year commitment with Solidaridad to contribute to a soy smallholder project in Paraguay.

Livestock: New horizons

The Rural Horizons tool for meat production addresses farmers’ needs in respect of sustainability, certification and legal compliance. Missions in Colombia, Mozambique and Ghana have focused on land use and food security.

Achievements and partnerships:

  • In Brazil, Solidaridad and regional farmers’ association Acrioeste have developed a first version of Rural Horizons. The results of a self-assessment were incorporated into the design of three pilot farms.
  • A partnership with the International Institute for Sustainability and the Instituto Centro de Vida in Brazil is supporting a programme to encourage pasture intensification and map land use. The aim is to increase productivity and reduce the pressure on forests.

Gold: A glittering future

Achievements and partnerships:

  • Solidaridad has secured funding to expand to new small-scale gold mining communities in Peru.
  • In the Jujuy region of northern Argentina, we are supporting the ASM miners of EcoAndina, who use no toxic chemicals, in their efforts to achieve eco-premium certification.