The situation in North American remains unsettled, largely due to the USA’s political environment. Much attention is focused, within the country, on the implications of a less socially-focused government. This has led Solidaridad to embark on a process to ensure that our expertise, reputation and mission are clearly understood among our peers, supporters and partners.
PBS Newshour ran a major segment on ‘The Silent Massacre’ affecting sugarcane workers in El Salvador in February, providing unprecedented North American exposure of our work with canecutters. The same month, Solidaridad’s programmes with sugarcane farmers in Central America were highlighted at the MoMa film festival in New York, when it aired the documentary ‘Jesser and the Sugarcane’.
Together with the University of California, Berkeley, Solidaridad hosted a conference – Innovation in Agrifood Supply Chains: People, Planet, Profitability – that featured Executive Director of Solidaridad Nico Roozen in his first speaking role in North America. The event attracted an exemplary collection of experts from academe, industry and civil society.
Nico Roozen also attended the Arrell Food Summit, at the University of Guelph, where Solidaridad was awarded the inaugural Arrell Global Food Innovation Award. Known throughout Canada for its expertise in food, the University of Guelph is an ideal partner for Solidaridad in furthering sustainable agriculture around the globe.
Solidaridad participated at the UN’s Global Climate Week, with a presentation during the forests and finance dialogue, which focused on shifting private sector finance to accelerate forest action.
The North American continent has one legal entity which was founded in 2012. The contribution to the aggregated income of Solidaridad Network is limited as a result of the difficult market circumstances in the field of sustainability.
Solidaridad strengthened its relationships with the University of California, Berkeley and with the University of Guelph, with whom we participated in a number of exciting ventures.
The David and Lucile Packard Foundation continues to support our oil palm work in West Kalimantan, Indonesia. We have joined together with The Nature Conservancy, with funding from the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation, to address deforestation related to soy farming in South America. We also worked closely with Ceres to advise a North American shoe manufacturer.
2018 was an unprecedented year for communication for Solidaridad North America. Throughout the year our work was presented via various channels, including the Chicago Council on Global Affairs, the CERES conference, The Sustainability Consortium conference, the Agribusiness Market Ecosystem Alliance and the Stanford University Responsible Supply Chain conference, along with numerous articles and posts on LinkedIn and other sites. The PBS NewsHour piece (which is typically seen by 1.2 million viewers), along with the various other channels, brought Solidaridad to the attention of millions of North Americans.
2018 saw Solidaridad experiencing, first hand, the realities and complexities of the US Citizen and Immigration Services. One of our staff was forced to leave the USA for four months while awaiting visa approval.