Scaling low emission agriculture & conservation in the Amazon
Solidaridad, Earth Innovation Institute, National Wildlife Federation, and University of Wisconsin-Madison were awarded a 16.3 million USD [15.3 million Euros] cooperative agreement by USAID to implement Amazonia Connect, a 5-year initiative that promotes and scales the adoption of low-emission commodity production to improve biodiversity conservation and climate resilience in Brazil, Colombia and Peru.
Reducing costs for smallholder farmers in Southern Africa
Solidaridad won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers Grand Challenge. Over the next two years, the team will implement and scale Kvuno, a decentralised digital service provision model to reduce the cost of last mile services to smallholder farmers in Malawi, Mozambique and Zambia.
Digital tools in dairy aid women farmers in Bangladesh
Solidaridad concluded the two-year USAID-funded Women Connect Challenge project on improving digital financial inclusion and technical assistance for 12,000 women dairy farmers in Bangladesh. Lessons learned and the digital tools developed, especially the i2i mobile phone application, will be integrated into newer initiatives in Asia going forward.
Expanding efforts on responsible minerals
Solidaridad and Canadian partner IMPACT won a new two-year project from the European Partnership for Responsible Minerals to work with small-scale minerals traders in Cote D’Ivoire to understand motivations for selling into a formal, legal export market. This project will test an innovative model for incentivizing good practices in mineral supply chains.
Corporate influence and knowledge sharing in climate justice
Solidaridad was invited to join Transform to Net Zero, an initiative of global companies leading on the transition to net zero emissions, to work on topics related to climate justice. The companies aim to include more front line communities in their climate goals through dialogue and co-creation of projects to pilot new models for cooperation.
Connecting the Dots
Leveraging US climate policy to lead global green transition innovations
Solidaridad in North America has been successful in influencing policies towards more climate-friendly directions. With the Amazonia Connect project, we walk the talk and take action to promote and scale the adoption of low-emission commodity production.
Fundraising, Partnerships and Engagement
Solidaridad North America continues to grow its donor and partnership base in the region, sometimes through steady engagement, and sometimes through unanticipated breakthroughs. Through our efforts in 2022, our fundraising success increased from USD 726,141 in 2021 to USD 1,832,667 in 2022. We expect this trend to continue in 2023.
In December 2022, Solidaridad in North America, in collaboration with Solidaridad in Southern Africa, won the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation’s Smart Farming Innovations for Small-Scale Producers Grand Challenge. Over the next two years, the team will focus on implementing and scaling “Kvuno”, a decentralised digital service provision model to reduce the cost of providing last-mile services to smallholder farmers in Malawi, Mozambique, and Zambia. Specifically, Solidaridad will work with leading technology service providers and research institutions to test the impact of providing bundled services to smallholder farmers. The project also includes a robust learning agenda to improve operational efficiencies and strengthen Kvuno’s viability as a social enterprise. The project will advance into implementation from 2023.
Solidaridad in North America led four regional offices in Solidaridad Network in negotiation of what is expected to become the largest private-sector partnership contract in Solidaridad’s history — a partnership with a U.S.-headquartered commodities trading, purchasing and processing company.
In addition, we serve on the Governance Committee of the leading multi-stakeholder dialogue group around high-risk minerals sourcing, the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Mineral Trade, founded by the U.S. government in partnership with leading tech companies and NGOs in this space. Through this participation, we are able to share our network’s learnings on responsible small-scale mineral production as well as gain input for the development of digital tools for better monitoring of practices at mine sites.
To cap off this unprecedented year, Solidaridad received a three-year grant to support regenerative agriculture for smallholder coffee farmers in Mexico from Mitsubishi Foundation for the Americas.
In September, Managing Director Michaelyn Baur took the main stage at Clinton Global Initiative with Colombian coffee grower Rosa Ines Restrepo and representatives from our Dream Fund partner Postcode Lottery Group, the world’s third-largest private charity donor, to deliver an impassioned commitment and call to action for the world’s Climate Heroes: smallholder agroforestry farmers who represent a significant opportunity for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building sustainable food systems.
What makes this commitment unique is that for the first time, we are able to connect millions of smallholder farmers to the international carbon market, thanks to a new innovative satellite-based marketplace developed by Rabobank and Solidaridad: ACORN. With Postcode Lottery Group’s support we are now reaching hundreds of thousands of farmers across the globe to implement regenerative farming practices and agroforestry systems on their land, so that they can produce food crops with decreased carbon emissions.
In 2022, Solidaridad in North America led on multi-stakeholder communications for USAID-funded Amazonia Connect, Solidaridad Network’s global website and social media channels, and an upcoming global report on smallholders. Additionally, we successfully earned stories with a number of well-known media outlets, including The Guardian and Food Print, and influential trade publications, such as Barista Magazine, Food Dive, Candy Industry and others.
Organization & Governance
As a 501(c)3 registered in California focused on delivering fundraising, technical support and partner and project management services to our colleagues and partners globally, the North American team works remotely across the United States and Canada, optimizing access to partners, donors and events in the region. In 2022, as planned, the team grew from 3.5 FTE to 5.5 FTE, adding a Climate Innovation and Green Growth Expert, as well as a Financial Controller, improving our gender balance with new hires. Additional support is secured through part-time consultants, interns, membership with Connective Impact, and BidBoss, a consulting firm providing invaluable support as we launch Amazonia Connect and address other US Government contract demands. Legal support is provided by Mintz, and audit support by Baker Tilly.
As contracts in the pipeline are secured, we envision increasing the staff to balance project management roles with fundraising goals. With increased time in the Financial Controller role, we are moving to live financial transaction reporting, and empowering our team to optimize the use of our internal data and financial system Plaza.
Solidaridad in North America led the Market Uptake Global Expertise Team for Solidaridad Network. This involved further developing thought leadership and skills across Solidaridad’s regional offices on how to link our work with farmers and miners to downstream buyers. Accomplishments included overseeing a mapping of new opportunities in Africa and Asia for small farmers to sell to governments when they purchase food, e.g. for school feeding programs; the design of innovative digital platforms for data sharing between small-scale producers and buyers; action research on a locally-led verification model for data collected from small producers; and organizing a joint learning event with Acumen on how social entrepreneurs can successfully do business with corporate buyers.
Annually, the North American team reviews and accepts our global Code of Conduct and Whistleblower Protocols, as well as updates to our Human Resources and Financial Management Manuals. We are proud to have passed demanding due diligence reviews by institutions such as USAID and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation that have strengthened and reinforced our integrity-related policies and behaviors. We practice transparency in all interactions/transactions, and address ethical management issues in our team calls to ensure accountability and sharpen our integrity programming. Due to our small team, we seek support from our colleagues globally to provide access to Integrity Advisors and Persons of Trust.
In 2022, there were no integrity issues to report.
Total income for Solidaridad in North America in 2022 was EUR 1.8 million. The income from government grants was lower due to slower than expected Amazonia Connect execution during the contracting and launch phase.
All information above is pending the auditing process.
The full audited annual statements of 2022 will be added as soon as they are available.