Global Annual Report 2020

In 2020, we embarked on a journey towards a new multi-annual strategic plan, gleaning learnings from the Ambition 2020 strategy, and a bold new vision for transformative and lasting change. Despite the challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic, we leveraged digital innovations and continuous analysis of local restrictions to continue our work, reaching 900,000+ producers and bringing 2 million hectares of land under sustainable management.

Surpassing goals

Despite Covid-19 challenges, we supported more than 500,000 producers to adopt good practices, with more than 383,000 hectares now under sustainable management. Work continued at the market level, with more than 50,000 farmers engaged in a federated model, who now own the Village Super Market. On the policy level, we contributed to 20 policy recommendations across 37 multi-stakeholder platforms.

Holistic engagement

Farmers, workers, cooperatives, companies, and mills across the region implemented climate-change adaptation and ecosystem-services generation, leading to more than 50,000 hectares under good practices, and over 37,000 producers trained. In this period, our work to create an enabling policy environment contributed to a national training plan for sugarcane in Mexico, the organization of technical committees for palm oil in Guatemala and Honduras, and the approval of a national gender policy in Nicaragua.

Making gains

Through our Practice for Change project and Food for All Kenya, we supported more than 85,000 producers (65 percent women) to adopt good practices. Our enabling policy work contributed to the finalization of the National Tea Policy, its Implementation Plan, and Regulatory Impact Assessment. Meanwhile our advocacy in mining continued with lobbying in Tanzania to make gold mining licensing more gender inclusive with greater flexibility on land ownership requirements. Finally, pilot programmes under sustainable landscapes saw more than 10,000 producers adopt land-use planning in the Kilimanjaro region, and income and funding gains for the pilot groups.

Catalyzing change

2020 marked a year of meaningful relationship building—fostering connections and shared ambitions with existing partners and funders, and sparking dialogues with new partners and donors to scale impact. We signed new donor contracts worth 78 million euros and brought 39 issues to policy maker agendas, putting the smallholder producer at the center. We also brought funding opportunities directly to smallholders through the launch of the PlusPlus crowdfunding platform.

Unlocking potential

2020 was a transformative year for North America in more ways than one. We grew our capacity, and signed $1.2 million in new contracts. We also sparked critical conversations with ten major global corporations around issues ranging from zero-deforestation and climate to transparency and labour practices. We boosted our visibility regionally by participating in or hosting panel discussions at three globally attended events including AgriLinks’ ICTforAg and SOCAP.

Innovation in action

In 2020, our work resulted in more than 90,000 producers adopting to good practices, being applied on over 406,000 hectares of land. Additionally, our climate-smart programme continued to grow, building-up producers’ resilience, increasing carbon sequestration, and ensuring no further land conversion is necessary. In supporting robust infrastructure, we signed agreements with two of the largest meatpackers in the world to incorporate digital sourcing tools to monitoring sustainability performance, and also started a scheme to pay coffee farmers for their environmental service using a platform called BanCO2. Our policy efforts contributed to a common environmental regulatory framework in Bolivia, and a public-private coalition for zero-deforestation cocoa in the Amazon. 

Tangible impact

Through the Practice for Change project, more than 36,000 smallholder farmers were supported to adopt good agricultural practices, while the LI-SAF project helped to bring over 60,000 hectares under sustainable management. Direct training for producers was complemented by policy work that engaged 145 stakeholders across 16 multi-stakeholder platforms, and 20 civil society organizations with capacity building and advocacy.

Transforming communities

In 2020, we were able to train more than 95,000 farmers, miners, and workers to improve their practices across more than 90,000 hectares of land. Better environmental practices delivered additional benefits with 47 percent of cocoa farmers in Ghana seeing a marked increase in yield and income. Facing Covid-19 restrictions, we were able to pivot and offer accessible digital support through Interactive Voice Response (IVR) systems, reaching more than 77,000 farmers and miners with technical support. These efforts were rounded out by advocacy efforts that contributed to six policy proposals to decision makers, which resulted in direct government action on topics ranging from land tenure rights to budgetary commitments.

Executive Summary


A year to remember

Covid-19 took the world by storm, causing devastating loss of live, challenges to social infrastructure and unprecedented disruptions to global supply chains. These events, along with rigorous collection of data and deep connections with smallholder producers, informed the development of our 2021-2025 multi-annual strategic plan, and reconfirmed our dedication to supporting smallholder producers.

I reflect on 2020 with tremendous pride in the work accomplished at every level. From the farmers who continued their work, or made the difficult decision to walk away, in the face of uncertainty and personal risk, to the staff members who burned the candle at both ends to deliver innovative solutions while juggling the personal challenges of lockdown and its shockwaves. I commend the leadership at each Regional Center, and from Executive Director Jeroen Douglas, which continued to ask critical questions driving strategy and pushed for innovations that centered farmer and worker perspectives.

Throughout the 2020 Annual Report, you will see examples of real change happening across value chains and regions. By engaging civil society, advising and lobbying the public and private sector, and working directly with smallholder producers and workers to deliver tailored solutions, Solidaridad is delivering transformative change for families, communities, and the environment.

As you read the 2020 report, I hope you will find, like I do, confidence that we can tackle the most pressing issues of our time. When we come together and listen to smallholders and workers, when we collaborate across sectors and levels, and make decisions based on evidence and continuous learning, we can meet this moment.  

When the Covid-19 pandemic ground the world to a halt in the first quarter of 2020, Solidaridad rode the wave, with the rest of the world, to assess what work and life would look like in the new normal. Administrative and management staff took on tremendous new challenges to create supportive and flexible work environments, while programme and field staff pivoted quickly to meet the new and urgent needs of smallholder producers left hanging by a world in crisis. And with the close of our Ambition 2020 Strategy that ran since 2016, this unprecedented year unquestionably influenced the strategic planning process for the years ahead.

Breaking personal records

Coming off of our record-breaking impact of 2019, and faced with new challenges in 2020, Solidaridad pulled together to push the limits further, training 900,000+ smallholder producers to adopt good mining, agricultural and also management practices, and bringing more than 2 million hectares under sustainable management. And, through our Advocacy for Change programme, we deepened our engagement with civic space, convening and participating in 138 multi-stakeholder dialogues and submitting 74 public and private policy proposals and recommendations. There is so much to be proud of from this year, with the resilience and perseverance of our teams in over 40 countries shining through in their results.


  • In East Africa, we connected more than 7,500 coffee farmers with 225,000+ Euros through the establishment of 300 Village Savings and Loan Associations
  • Cocoa farming families in South America received technical assistance to adopt low-carbon practices, thus boosting cocoa productivity by 35 percent and increasing gross income by 51 percent
  • In Europe we brought 39 issues to policy makers, and contributed to three new regulations that take into account the perspective of the smallholder
  • We worked with more than 500,000 to adopt good agricultural practices across eight countries in Asia

Great responsibility

With the continued growth of our global teams came a renewed commitment to fostering an inclusive and value-driven working environment at all levels. In 2020, we developed and launched our comprehensive Integrity Framework, including an updated Whistleblower Procedure and Code of Conduct.

We also continued our investment in building a robust evidence base and learning agenda by evaluating and redesigning our Salesforce-based data platform and reimagining our key performance indicators in the context of the upcoming strategic period.

Financial Highlights

2020 was also the year where we launched our Reclaim Sustainability! Consortium, together with Business Watch Indonesia, Africa Trust and FairFood. The consortium successfully competed under the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs programme ‘Power of Voices’, obtaining a five-year contract valuing EUR 53.7 million. This base funding shows that the new 2021-2025 Solidaridad strategy is worth supporting. 2020 created a consolidated financial result of EUR 55 million, a decrease of 16 percent in relation to  2019. We expect to catch up in 2021 again.

“You’re On Mute”

With all the seriousness of 2020, there were also moments of levity and new ways to connect. Without travel, our global teams became adept at collaborating, connecting, and engaging virtually. When in person workshops moved online, we tested different platforms to keep the work engaging and also came to new understandings of the ground rules for positive virtual engagement—video on, not too long, and mute your mic, please! Our learning teams took the creativity to a new level, organizing virtual field trips to talk with smallholder farmers, which brought new and unexpected value to the interaction.

The path ahead

We mark 2020 in our minds as a transformative year, which woke the world up to realities that many of us have recognized for years—from shocking socioeconomic inequities to the dire and far reaching consequences of environmental degradation. We close the chapter with gratitude for the resilience and partnership that brought us through, and an unwavering commitment to amplifying and centering the voice of smallholder producers and workers.

The Solidaridad Network is registered as a foundation at the Chamber of Commerce in Utrecht, the Netherlands, under the number 51756811.

Network Secretariat
‘t Goylaan 15
Utrecht 3525 AA
The Netherlands

Tel.: +31 (0)30 275 94 50
Email: info@solidaridadnetwork.org

Let our Executive Director Jeroen Douglas take you through our annual report over 2020

Global Programmes


An unprecedented year

Despite the challenge of 2020, there were significant results across programmes, made possible by exhaustive research, strategic partnerships, and a human-centered approach.

Through the Advocacy for Change (AfC) programme, implemented in 2016-2020, Solidaridad increased civic space for farmers, miners and workers to enable them to stand up for their rights and claim a better position in the supply chain. Together with our local partners, we have designed and implemented 41 programmes across various regions worldwide to promote participation and inclusion in supply chains. Major results from the programme include:

Capacity Strengthening

  • The Trinitea project in India was aimed at developing a certification standard that meets the needs of small-scale tea growers, in joint cooperation between Solidaridad and the Indian Tea Association; resulting in the development of smart self-assessment systems for smallholder tea.
  • Solidaridad has lobbied for the lifting of the 2017 ban on artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASM) in Ghana, and has worked closely with and advised policy makers in the development of new legislation on ASM (the Multilateral Mining Integrated Programme (MMIP)).
  • We have actively advocated for better due diligence legislation in Europe, for instance, in the cocoa sector, calling for an explicit inclusion of the right to a living income and living wage. Furthermore, Solidaridad has co-developed a global approach for the European Garment Sector for better wage management and training on purchasing practices, value chain transparency and due diligence.

Fostering Civic Space

Gender Inclusivity

  • In our policy influencing work, gender inclusivity was successfully put on the agenda of a range of global and national policy makers, among which the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals, CEN/ISO standard for sustainable cocoa, the International Cocoa Organization, and the Better Cotton Initiative.
  • One example of our work in policy influencing is Solidaridad’s contribution to the Stakeholder Statement on Implementing Gender-Responsive Due Diligence and ensuring the human rights of women in mineral supply chains. This statement is endorsed by the OECD and signed by over 30 stakeholders.
  • The Women in Cocoa & Chocolate Network (WINCC) was launched in 2016 to empower women and their position in the cocoa sector. WINCC has been organizing regular meetings since its inception, aimed at strengthening leadership skills to increase the voice and influence of women throughout the cocoa and chocolate sector, and hereby contribute to a more sustainable value chain.
  • Solidaridad worked towards strengthening the position of the pallaqueras (female miners who work on the slopes and outskirts of mines to collect minerals left over or thrown away by the formal miners, who are generally men) in Peru and women miners in Bolivia. The project, named Qori Suma, has built capacity in more than 440 women in leadership, associativity, media training, and how to face violent situations. A milestone was reached in February 2020, when these women launched their own policy brief agenda.

The lessons learnt in the Advocacy for Change programme have laid a strong basis for the RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! programme, to be implemented in 2021-2025 in cooperation with our consortium partners Fairfood, Business Watch Indonesia, and TrustAfrica. 

Through Practice for Change (PfC), Solidaridad supported more than 900,000 smallholders and workers to adopt good practices, and invested in robust infrastructure that created a stronger business case for the smallholder farmer.

In Kenya, Uganda, and Tanzania, the Practice for Change Coffee Resilience Program has created opportunities for women to participate in coffee leadership, coffee production as seen in this video, as well as other micro-enterprises. Women have been trained in requisite skills and knowledge to enable them to participate in the management boards in cooperatives, coffee production and alternative livelihoods, such as intercropping and animal husbandry.

In Asia, we have invested in supply chain interventions such as the Village Super Market, supporting 15,000 farmers to access gain accurate prices and quality-based pricing for their products. While in West Africa, investment into small and medium enterprises, along with establishment of village savings and loan associations is removing barriers to financial growth for smallholders. In the South and Central America, climate-smart agriculture is helping smallholders boost resilience, increase carbon sequestration, and avoid further land conversion.

2020 drove home the urgency of digital innovations in sectors and communities around the world. At Solidaridad, it was a welcome stress test for the digital tools that have been incorporated into programming at many levels. With many field activities delayed or canceled due to restrictions, we focused on increasing access to mobile applications and scaling up proven interventions. In West Africa, we dramatically scaled up our Interactive Voice Response systems to reach miners and producers not only with customized technical advice, but also with Covid-19 safety information. In Asia, we worked to increase mobile access, connecting more than 300,000 farmers across our 31 apps. In South America, we supported more than 13,000 farmers through digitally-enabled interventions that use our mobile applications, including: Farming Solution, Extension Solution and Agrolearning).

The technology also has a strong business case. In Southern Africa, the Kvuno Soil Labs, a post-revenue, pre-profit start-up social enterprise established by Solidaridad, is making soil testing accessible while also creating jobs. Across the innovations, the return on investment looks promising. In Central America, Farm Diary’s return on investment has already reached 30 percent. The app garnered interest across Solidaridad’s network and from companies in Nicaragua and Honduras, with commitments and proposals in place for development in 2021. Finally, the PlusPlus platform in Europe launched and promises to create direct funding streams for workers and entrepreneurs.

Our focus on impact investing helped to connect thousands of farmers and small businesses with finance and opportunity. In East Africa, in partnership with the African Management Institute, we have developed a hybrid blend of digital and physical support to high potential SMEs in Kenya through the ‘Gen-Specific SME Support Mechanism (GOWN)’ project; a six-month business development support program designed to build the capacity and improve the growth potential of women-led/owned businesses through administering a gender-inclusive curriculum

The work also included extensive analysis of investment ecosystems, building business cases and generating deals to provide investment for producers. In Argentina, we analyzed the state of the financial sector linked to tea, soy, and livestock. In terms of business cases, we completed a financial analysis of sustainable intensification for smallholder livestock production in Brazil and medium-large producers in Paraguay.

And, through practical and innovative models, we mapped new pathways forwards for financial inclusion. In Asia, we worked to structure the Village Super Market (VSM) into a community-owned business, proving that fair and innovative ownership models are beneficial to all. And, in Southern Africa, an initiative connecting farmers with quality seed through loans saw a 100% repayment rate and high farmer satisfaction. While in Ghana, we linked 7,000 smallholders and 12 rural service centers with more than 8 million Euros in grants and credit.

Solidaridad made significant strides in integrating climate actions in its programming. In Ghana, a study on Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) and Life Cycle Assessment (LCA) was conducted to understand the climate dynamics of the oil palm value chain. While in South America, we refined our methodologies to monitor deforestation and our carbon balance calculations. These new methodologies were deployed in four countries and three commodities. An initiative in Southern Africa led to the creation of the Climate Vulnerability Assessment (CVA) Dashboard, which is currently being used to provide actionable data to Project Managers and to assist Solidaridad’s research efforts.

Partnerships were key to driving forward impact in the climate and landscape innovation area. In East Africa, we partnered with the Intergovernmental Authority on Development (IGAD)-Climate Centre to build the capacities of staff on climate information dissemination, triggering further dissemination to our partners and beneficiaries. While in Asia, new varieties of seeds were developed in collaboration with Research agencies in Soy that shortens the crop cycle and negates the effects of early rainfall. Regenerative and Organic farming in Cotton was initiated and is now protecting the farmers from pest attacks. 

Most significant changes

The story of Casilda: Community and resilience in Chaco

Seven years ago, Casilda and her husband took over a family farm in an area that provides milk to one of the largest dairy companies in Paraguay. To help realize their livelihood ambitions, they joined the Campo Aceval cooperative, where Casilda became one of the few women directors.

Improving farmer livelihoods and landscapes in Zambia

A group of 52 young women and men from Mazabuka Province have been awarded certificates for completing training in hand leathercraft as a way of adding value and improving income at the household level. Through village banking, there has been increased access to finance, aggregated funding for investment, and reduced loan default.

Service delivery SMEs boost production in West Africa

Over the last five years, Solidaridad West Africa has supported the establishment of small and medium enterprises (SMEs) to deliver services that address poor farm management, high costs of labour and inputs, as well as inadequate financial and agricultural extension services in cocoa production.

Promoting regional sustainability and trade in palm oil

In 2016, Solidaridad launched the Asian Sustainable Palm oil Network (ASPN) to create a space for negotiation and support industry actors to discuss issues linked to domestic vegetable oil market in India and China.

Tech for transformation in the sugarcane supply chain

Through the PanameriCaña multi-stakeholder platform, stakeholders engage in meaningful conversations about sustainable production, the reduction of environmental impacts, and social and labour issues.

Promoting food security among smallholder farmers in East Africa

The Food Security through Improved resilience of Smallholder Coffee Farmers in Ethiopia and Kenya (FOSEK) seeks to improve food security in East Africa by increasing local agricultural production and enhancing economic resilience and livelihood of smallholder coffee farmers.

Organization & governance

Creating an economy that works for the poor starts with nurturing a network that is grounded on shared principles and operates seamlessly, as one. In 2020, we laid the foundation towards an even more coherent and interconnected network. A network in which regions have the independence and ability to innovate at each level, while interconnectedness pulls us together to strategically act as one. 

More information about our staff, management and supervision can be found here.

Nurturing a Network

Change starts here

The backbone of all our work remains the Solidaridad staff. Their knowledge, experience, and expertise are key to our success. The overall staff of Solidaridad in 2020 has grown by 70 people from 915 by the end of 2019 to 985 by the end of 2020. Thirty-four percent of Solidaridad staff is female and the overall population is quite diverse. Both our international supervisory board and our executive board have a 50/50 ratio in gender and dominated by representatives from the global south. 
More information about our staff, management and supervision can be found here.

In 2020, we renewed our system of integrity with an improved Code of Conduct and Whistleblower Protocol contributing to open communication, good decision making and a strong moral compass guiding decisions and actions. You can find the latest versions of the Code of Conduct and the Whistleblower Procedure here. Next to the regional internal and external reporting channels already in place, an external party has been contracted that will provide a global online independent platform for reporting any kind of misconduct related to Solidaridad. In 2020 no reports about inappropriate behavior or breaches of integrity were reported. 

More information about our risk and control measures can be found here. 

The development of a PMEL data model (standardized data points and tools to collect granular data) provides a structured, unified approach to qualitative and quantitative measurement of programmes and projects. The use of the common indicators and the PMEL data model will not only allow us to compare projects across the network, but also to track progress of individual producers, making it possible to establish correlations and perform analysis on the different interventions we are implementing. Initial drafts of dashboards based on mock-up data proved to be an effective way to start discussing the use of data, beyond the usual management overviews and reporting purposes. 

Our trained professionals equipped with this instrument can count increasingly on steady data-flows which form the basis for evidence-based decision making. Consistent and prolonged use of the PMEL data model framework will provide precise insights into the effectiveness and impact of our programmes, as well as support finding the balance between practice and advocacy to reach meaningful impact at scale. Despite the Covid pandemic and the limitations to collect data in the field, in 2020 we completed three pilots with remote data collection on the collection of granular data for our new PMEL data model: one on farmer profiling (South Africa); one measuring CSO mobilization and engagement (Bolivia), and one on using phone-interviews to collect data (Ghana).

Dashboard design of farmer profiles in our South African Pilot

The pilots brought new elements to the design of our monitoring and evaluation framework. An important conclusion we made was that despite the local contexts of our programmes, sufficient common indicators can be designed to come to a cohesive and meaningful framework for our network, that align with our most recent Multi Annual Strategic Plan 2021-2025.  

In 2020, the evaluation of one of our biggest advocacy programmes, Advocacy for Change, was commissioned by AidEnvironment. Given the COVID pandemic,  data on the case studies had to be collected remotely. The evaluation concluded that the majority of the projects in the programme (63% of the portfolio) have contributed significantly to policy change, while in the projects where no significant policy changes were noted, ‘small wins’ or important incremental steps towards change were evidenced. Small wins can be relevant in complex contexts and where pathways of change may not be so clear. A series of small wins may finally result in real policy change. The evaluation confirms that we have been successful in strengthening smallholder and indigenous people associations to participate in MSPs and L&A activities, liaising between smallholder associations and powerful industry associations. This confirms our strategy that enhancing participation is the first step to be heard. Solidaridad is very pleased with the general conclusion that our Advocacy for Change programme has made an important contribution to several systemic changes. The evaluator explicitly mentions our contribution to:

  • Improved service delivery, by public or private sector
  • Trust and dialogue between stakeholders
  • Coordination of and alignment between stakeholders
  • Strengthening of civic space, largely related to capacity building of CSOs and MSPs
  • More transparency / accountability of stakeholders, as well as reduced corruption
  • Shift of mindsets and norms

The evaluator concludes that the AfC programme has made an important contribution to the potential for sector transformation, especially when seen in combination with projects aimed at supporting Good Practices and projects aimed at Supportive Business Ecosystems. We are enormously encouraged by this finding, that so clearly reaffirms our theory of change that good practices and a supportive business ecosystem need to be supported by an enabling policy environment.

Late in 2019, we set out on a trajectory to fully rebuild our global website and make it more suitable to the needs of our audiences. We have also worked on a stronger management of our global channels. All English language channels aimed at a B2B audience were brought under the same corporate roof to ensure alignment and synergy. 

On our global website—which is the centerpiece of our online ecosystem—we published no less than 105 articles in 2020, at an average pace of 2 articles a week. Next to this, we published various publications, stories and numerous social media messages. 

In 2020, we again saw a growth in our online visibility, reach and engagement. We saw a 10% growth in our website users and a 22% increase in page views. We were happy to welcome almost 10,000 new followers on Linkedin and see a gradual increase of our followers on Twitter and Facebook. 

Internal communication is an important sanity factor for Solidaridad. In 2020 we continued to invest in this. While the majority of staff were working from home due to Covid-19, having an well-maintained online source for internal information proved to be more relevant than ever. Many new internal sites have been set up for knowledge sharing and existing sites have been updated and improved. As we see that information in text is not very well read, we have started to experiment with providing internal information in audio-visual formats through short video vlogs. In 2020, we produced 22 vlogs. They were a great tool to present the new 2021-2025 strategy to our staff.

We also had our first all Solidaridad TownHall session online in 2020 which was very well attended by almost 80 percent of all staff. The concept was enthusiastically welcomed by staff as an opportunity to connect with the wider network. In 2021 we will therefore continue with it. 

In terms of media, we manage to engage with large global and trade media channels which resulted in the highest annual reach ever, totalling a potential audience of over 750 million people worldwide throughout the year. 

We were also able to present Solidaridad at a number of high level and well-attended online events, such as the European SDG conference, the 2030 African Food & Employment Revolution Global Virtual Seminar, SOCAP 2020 hosted by Social Capital Markets, USAID’s ICTforAg 2020, and the virtual launch of the leather project in Kolkata, launched by the Chief Minister of West Bengal.

Covid-19 gave a boost to our online events. We organized many webinars, online trainings for farmers, and other online events which were well attended and appreciated. 

Throughout the year, we received recognition for innovations across sectors and regions. In Asia, we were honored to win the Global Governance Award for Innovation in Food Security recognizing our contributions to the development of socially responsible, ecologically sound, and profitable supply chains for 13 agricultural commodities across nine countries. Our work in Ghana gained recognition as a finalist in the ASM Grand Challenge for creatively engaging artisanal miners and mine managers with Interactive Voice Response technology. And, our Digital Solutions Unit in Brazil was selected to participate in the Women-Led Global Social Benefit Institute, based out of the Miller Center for Entrepreneurship, for their Farming Solution and Extension Solution.

In the course of 2020, Solidaridad has signed new donor contracts with a total value of 78 million euros. We renewed our partnership with the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs through the Power of Voices facility as well as the extension of our Practice for Change partnership. These funds form the backbone for Solidaridad to implement the new strategy and provide a strong base for future growth. 

Other successes include the funding from the European Union for projects in Ethiopia and Tanzania and the funding from Danida for the TRACE project in Kenya. In addition we signed new partnerships with the Netherlands Enterprise Agency (RVO) and the Achmea foundation

More detailed information about our fundraising successes in the various regions can be found in the regional chapters of this report.

The Covid-19 pandemic caused many companies to cut costs on expenditures and staff for sustainability programmes, making it more difficult to agree on (new) partnership programmes, and in particular limiting their financial contribution substantially. Many of our existing partners have nevertheless expressed their confidence in Solidaridad as a reliable partner and renewed or expanded their partnership. 

A few of our highlights in terms of global partnerships include our renewed five-year partnership with Henkel, our continued partnership with Syngenta, and the expansion of our partnership with East-West Seed to 4 joint projects. Our partnerships include private sector companies, financial institutions, governments, and research institutes like the Central Leather Research Institute of India and University of Khulna in Bangladesh. All partnerships are extremely valuable to us, so it is difficult to do justice to all of them in this report, but  a few examples of our biggest partnerships in terms of financial investments include: 

More information about our partnerships can be found here and in the regional annual reports.



In 2020, we saw a decline of 16 percent in our income in relation to 2019. We expect to catch up in 2021 and to continue on the trendline of a growing income. One of the major successes in 2020 was the grant of a 5 years contract, valuing 53.7 million Euros with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs for their ‘Power of Voices’ programme. This grant was provided to our Reclaim Sustainability! Consortium, which we launched together with Business Watch Indonesia, Africa Trust and FairFood. This base funding shows that the new 2021-2025 Solidaridad strategy is worthwhile supporting. 

Aggregated direct income Solidaridad Network 2011-2020

Solidaridad network total income 2020

The majority of our funding was generated from our Europe office, but most of that funding was dispersed to the other regions. From all Southern-based offices, West Africa managed to attract most funding. This is also reflected in the division of expenditures over the regions. Around half of our funding was spent in West Africa, particularly on programmes for Palm oil and cocoa. 

For almost 70 percent our income is coming from government grants.

Compared to 2019, we see a relative increase in government grants and a decrease in income from companies. It is our ambition to achieve a more diversified income base in the coming years. 

Solidaridad network total expenditure 2020

The expenditures of Solidaridad keep track with our income and show a drop compared to 2019, but are in line with the 2018 expenditures. Part of the drop in expenditures can also be attributed to Covid-19, as not all programmes could continue as planned. 

Solidaridad’s costs are mostly (42 percent) staff costs. Our pool of nearly 1000 staff members works daily with producers and companies to make value chains more sustainable. Sometimes, we hire consultants or partners for specialized work. Nearly 20 percent of our budget is spent on this. Thirty-four precent is spent on activity costs, such as travel costs, training venues and training materials. 

Solidaridad network consolidated results 2020 (in 1000 EUR)

Each region produces its own annual accounts. All our annual accounts are checked and signed by independent external auditors. More detailed financial information can be found in these official annual accounts – including the official auditors statements.