Solidaridad West Africa
Moving beyond certification
There were many achievements across the region, but the highlight was €7 million of major funding from the Dutch Embassy in Accra to implement the Cocoa Rehabilitation and Intensification Programme (CORIP). This programme makes it possible to move beyond certification towards intensification in the cocoa sector of Ghana, thus ensuring long-term sustainability.
Solidaridad West Africa received greater commitment from governments and other stakeholders to develop sustainable commodity chains. Such platforms and opportunities were used to deepen existing relationships, influence policy, initiate institutional reforms and implement sustainability projects.
However, the fall in the world market price of gold resulted in periodic shutdowns by mines, impeding progress towards meeting sustainable targets.
Main achievements and partnerships
In 2013, the cocoa programme up-scaled its sustainability projects and engaged in activities beyond certification, together with private companies. Key partners include companies and government agencies such as Noble Resources, ECOM/Mars, Armajaro, Cargill, Touton, the Ivorian Conseil du Café Cacao and the Ghana Cocoa Board. In the oil palm programme, Solidaridad partnered with the International Plant Nutrition Institute, Proforest Initiative and Oil Palm Research Institute to establish thirty best management practice plots. Together with the RSPO a road show and the first RSPO Lead Auditor Training Course were organised. Funding was received from the Farmer Support Programme (FSP) for a cotton project in Senegal. Other partners in the cotton programmme include APROCA, Compagnie Malienne pour le Development des Textiles and SODEFITEX. A five-year sustainable maize project funded by the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs was also secured with Yara and Wienco as partners.
In 2013 Solidaridad West Africa deepened its sustainability initiatives by building strategic partnerships as well as through learning and innovation. Improving productivity, making service delivery more efficient, developing business cases, climate smart agriculture and focusing on food security issues and gender remain central to the strategy. There is also increased emphasis on accurate data and agroeconomic analyses.
The Continental Board met twice in 2013 to discuss progress and plans. The number of staff grew by 15% (from 47 to 54) and the Côte d'Ivoire office finally acquired a certificate of registration. The budget increased from €6 million to €10 million. After a successful external audit of the QMS, the Ghana Office's ISO 9001; 2008 scope was expanded to cover the gold and oil palm programmes.