Solidaridad South America
Innovation with sustainable commodities
Farmers feel 'triggers' that drive them to continually improve their practice: input and labour scarcity; rising demand for risk-free, certified and legally compliant supply sources; robust forestry laws; and the need to design sustainable landscapes. Solidaridad South America aims to deliver innovative solutions which make this kind of change happen.
Legal compliance helps make the transformation to sustainable agriculture. Traditional premium markets, whether in the EU, USA or Japan - with their voluntary standards - are gradually losing out to home markets and to Asia. Working with large brands, local businesses, communities, civil society and governments are creating low-risk, legally compliant farming landscapes.
Main achievements and partnerships
Major programmes include encouraging and helping 120 miners and 2270 families who are farming 690,000 hectares to implement voluntary sustainability standards. The main partners are Unilever, Rainforest Alliance (tea), Agropalma, RSPO (palm), Bonsucro, Shell/Cosan (sugar cane), Anapo, Los Grobo, INTA, Fapcen, Syngenta, DAP, RTRS, IDH, and SALSA partners (soy).
Rural Horizons is an expert system that supports continual improvement in a 'race to the top' approach. It involves hundreds of beef, sugar-cane, soy and cotton farmers who farm more than 70,000 hectares.
Together with Norad, Moore, IDH, and FSP as donors, and ICV, Moises Bertoni, UNDP, ProYungas as partners, sustainable landscaping has begun in the Amazon, Atlantic Rainforest and Chaco regions. Integrated on/off-farm incentives provide metric data for regional multi-stakeholder dialogues.
Solidaridad South America provides the following services to the Solidaridad Network: RBM training, IPC livestock support, and FSP/FSLA governance and administration.
Rural Horizons addresses farmers' needs in sustainability, certification and legal compliance. Spearheaded by smart land use and food security, missions took place to Colombia, Mozambique and Ghana in 2013. In return, valuable input was received from the Network on commodities, strategic relations, systemic development and communication. As conditions vary considerably in different regions, expertise clearly needs to be tailored.
With financial growth of 40%, the regional staff grew from 9 to 19 people, and from one to three legal entities, with country leaders based in Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay. Through participation in Roundtables, think tanks, sectoral institutions, standard setting bodies, producer associations and communication groups knowledge is transferred to the Network and transformed into valuable market intelligence, which helps to build the Solidaridad 'brand'.