In 2018 the Solidaridad South and South East Asia and China regional offices joined together to form one continental office: Solidaridad Asia. Over the last 12 years, Solidaridad has emerged as an innovative sustainable solutions provider in Asia, working in India, China, Indonesia, Malaysia, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Myanmar, Hong Kong and Israel. Solidaridad Asia provides training on climate-smart sustainable agriculture and decent work for 500,000 farmers and 200,000 workers in 13 commodity areas. All our work is tailored towards creating practical solutions at scale for feeding the ever-growing demands of the Asian population through a more-with-less approach.
In 2018, Solidaridad Central America continued to grow in action and vision. We deepened impact in our anchor commodity programmes (palm oil, sugarcane, cocoa, coffee and livestock), and leveraged successes in regional commodity platforms to expand our vision to landscape-level interventions. Partnerships have grown to include additional smallholders’ associations and groups, private-sector actors, as well as philanthropic and potential impact investors. We are putting in place the foundations to facilitate a paradigm shift in the region toward regenerative landscapes, and long-term financing to support them. Our aim is sustainable economic and commodity growth that includes responsible natural resource management and inclusive opportunities for social well-being.
In 2018, Solidaridad East and Central Africa promoted best practices and sustainability to ensure sector transformation through our textile, leather, coffee, gold, dairy, tea, fruits and vegetables programmes. We focused on food security, gender inclusivity, ICT, climate innovations, investment in viable businesses for impact creation,-and working with producers and industries. We engaged governments, financial institutions and markets in creating robust infrastructures, that resulted in effective production and working environments. The formation of the Kenya Coffee Platform, coordination of sustainable landscapes multi-stakeholder platforms and the advocacy work to establish a sustainable Tea Policy in Uganda were highlights of our regional public-private sector engagements.
We need speed and scale to create sustainable landscapes, was the main message of a humorous activity that Solidaridad Germany organized at the Global Landscape Forum in Bonn in December 2018. Policy makers from around the globe were motivated to run quite a bit faster towards their goals.
2018 saw Solidaridad begin to emerge from anonymity in North America. We were featured on national television, received a significant award, hosted a major conference and participated in numerous events, activities and publications throughout the year. In a region with more than a million non-governmental organizations, it has been a successful year for us.
Solidaridad South America is adapting its strategy to effectively serve farmers and companies with climate-smart solutions. We’re working towards more resilient production with less emissions and better use of land and water, while avoiding deforestation. We work in the challenging and diverse landscapes of the Amazon, the savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, the Colombian Orinoquia, and in the dry forests of Chaco. Innovations in digital and financial tools are key for up-scaling climate-smart solutions.The climate-smart cocoa beans from one of the producers in our cocoa programme, were used to make the first chocolate from Tuêre at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.
Solidaridad Southern Africa has had an exciting year of reflection and growth. Our team has expanded to grow our innovation area and commodity expertise. The Sustainable Water Fund project ended with stellar results proving that building a well-resourced team matched with great partners is a prerequisite for achieving impact. In 2018 we focused on setting up the right foundation for the pipeline of work we will be pursuing to position the organization as a leader in sustainable development within the region.
CREATING CHANGE THAT MATTERS
Foreword by Mariam Dao Gabala
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.
SOLUTION-ORIENTED CIVIL SOCIETY ORGANIZATION
Solidaridad positions itself as a 21st century civil society organization with a solution and market-oriented focus. Markets are becoming legitimate channels for social and ecological change. Solidaridad is not a watchdog. What fits us better is the role of the guide dog and we need to avoid becoming a lap dog. Solidaridad is a critical partner defending public goods for future generations.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 recategorization of mines in Ghana.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Solidaridad is an international network organization with a culturally diverse staff. People, learning and development are key factors which help the global organization to realize Solidaridad’s vision and strategy. Our HR strategy ‘Growth through Connection’ emphasizes the strength of an interconnected learning organization, which is open for, and has trust in, the talents, expertise and knowledge of its staff.
Overall direct income for Solidaridad increased in 2018 from 39.2 million euros to 56.7 million euros. An increase of 45%. This is one of the results of new sources of funding Solidaridad was able to attract. But we also notice significant regional differences in the ability to diversify our funding base.
The graph above shows the growth of Solidaridad Network from 2011 to 2020. Aggregated income in 2011 was 18.3 million euros which has grown to an aggregate income of 56.7m euros in 2018, a growth of 210% or an average of 30% per year.
This growth rate was realized when regions other than Solidaridad Europe started to contribute to the aggregated income. Between 2007 and 2011 Solidaridad set up entities outside of the Netherlands, but only from 2011 onwards did Solidaridad start to work under one governance system.
2018 FIGURES FOR THE SOLIDARIDAD NETWORK
Solidaridad Network Income Statement 2018
|Solidaridad South America
|Solidaridad Central America
|Solidaridad West Africa
|Solidaridad Southern Africa
|Solidaridad East & Central Africa
|Solidaridad North America
The table shows actual income in 2018 per region against budget (-13%) and against previous year (+45%). The regional offices only budget income that has already been contracted. In addition, the budget for 2018 included a forecasted income of 22.2m euros which set the total target for the year at 65m euros. The target of 65m euros was deliberately set at this ambitious level. Despite the lower actual income than budgeted, the increase against previous year is significant.
The growth in income occurred mostly in Solidaridad Europe (+34% against 2017) and in Solidaridad West Africa (+343% against 2017).
The growth in Solidaridad Europe occurred because insufficient funds were spent in 2017, and thus recognized as income on two large grants from the Dutch government. 2018 saw a catch-up in spending and thus in recognition of income from these grants. Besides, new grants were contracted that were not part of the contracted budget for 2018, but were represented in the budgeted pipeline for 2018.
The growth in Solidaridad West Africa is largely due to grants from the Dutch Embassy, the Swiss Embassy and the European Union for cocoa and oil palm programs. These grants were not yet contracted at the end of 2017 and therefore they were not represented in Solidaridad West Africa’s 4.7m euros budget, but were in the pipeline.
WORKING TOWARDS CONSOLIDATION
Because of intercompany balances, it is not yet possible to provide consolidated expenditures for the Network. Solidaridad Network is in the process of working towards the production of consolidated figures. A set of accounting principles has been developed that comply with the Dutch accounting guideline 640 for non-profit organizations and, at the same time, render as much justice to International Financial Reporting Standards (IFRS) as possible. Where relevant, Solidaridad will comply with the stricter set of standards, for example in the area of related parties (IAS 24). For ease, we call this combined set of standards ‘Solidaridad Generally Accepted Accounting Principles’ (Solidaridad GAAP).
As much as possible, the regional figures below are based on these combined set of standards. This means that they can deviate from the audited financial statements that have been prepared and audited on the basis of local laws and regulations.
OFFICIAL FINANCIAL STATEMENTS
Solidaridad is a true network where each region has its own supervision and financial statements. All financial statements are externally and officially audited. Below you will find the links to the official audited annual accounts. Note that legal entities and regional financial reporting requirements may deviate from the eight regions that we work with in practice. Some regions (e.g. Central America and South America) are integrated in one financial statement, while others (e.g. Southern Africa) report in separate financial statements per country.
CENTRAL AND SOUTH AMERICA
- Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana
- Stichting Interkerkelijk Aktie voor Latijns Amerika – Solidaridad. Lima, Peru
- Solidaridad Network West Africa
- Solidaridad East and Central Africa Expertise Center (SECAEC)
- Solidaridad Network Southern Africa NGO Mozambique Office
- Solidaridad Network Foundation Limited Zambia
- The Solidaridad Network South Africa Trust