Launch of RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! programme for inclusive and sustainable value chains
16 February 2021
Solidaridad, Fairfood, TrustAfrica and Business Watch Indonesia (BWI) are excited to launch our new joint programme, RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! This five-year programme (2021-2025) will be implemented in strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, within their Policy Framework Strengthening Civil Society. With this programme, we strive to foster genuine and inclusive sustainability in global value chains, where the voices of farmers, miners, workers and citizens are well represented in decision making, and civil society is strengthened.
Photo above: Mawuse Hotor (middle) and her parents, Mary Ahotor and Gabriel, cocoa farmers in Ghana
In recent years, sustainability has become something of a buzzword in international supply chains, the media, and consumer marketing. However, this has not yet created the desired impact, for there can be no genuine sustainability when the people who produce the products consumed by us all continue living in poverty; when natural resources are not managed sustainably, civic space in many countries is limited, and the working conditions of millions of producers are abject. Farmers, miners and workers are key players in tackling major challenges such as poverty and climate change, yet their voices are often unheard. The global COVID-19 pandemic has further exacerbated the situation of millions of people worldwide.
Systemic and transformative change
The enormity of these persisting challenges makes it imperative to advocate for genuine and inclusive sustainability. We must build back better, and systemic and transformative change is essential. With our joint RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! programme, we will work on fostering inclusive and sustainable value chains in which the interests, voices and rights of the farmers, workers, miners and citizens are represented and heard in decision making. We will focus our efforts on a number of essential thematic areas: sustainable use of natural resources, decent work, fair value distribution, and sustainable consumption. In all this, gender and social inclusion will also form an essential part of our work.
Our consortium involves nine partners working closely together towards these joint goals: TrustAfrica, Business Watch Indonesia (BWI), Fairfood, Solidaridad West Africa, Solidaridad Southern Africa, Solidaridad East & Central Africa, Solidaridad Asia, Fundación Solidaridad Latinoamericana, and Solidaridad Europe (please see website of Solidaridad Network). This programme will be implemented in a strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which provides the financial support for the programmes worldwide (a total of 53.7 million euros).
Worldwide impact across value chains and three impact pathways
The RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY! programme will be implemented in 17 selected countries across Africa, Asia and Latin America, as well as have a strategic role in Europe geared at amplifying the voices of producers and civil society in the South. We will work in the value chains of cocoa, coffee, tea, palm oil, cotton & textiles, and gold; with a special focus on the local food systems in Africa. Creating systemic and transformative change towards genuine sustainability requires cooperation on all levels involved: a responsible private sector, a vibrant and strong civil society, and a supportive public sector.
As programme partners, we will work on three impact pathways to reclaim sustainability:
Accelerate disruptive solutions: Optimize the bargaining position of farmers and workers in the supply chain through supply chain innovations, e.g. digital tools and new ownership models, with a focus on gender and social inclusion.
Advocate through inclusive dialogue: Influence the policy agenda and develop evidence-based solutions to address socio-economic and environmental shortcomings in trade and value chains.
Amplify the voice of citizenry: Mobilize, activate and engage citizens and civil society organizations to change norms and influence the policy agenda.
Our programme is driven by creating genuine and inclusive impact across the value chains of selected commodities and regions. By 2025, we strive to achieve the following:
35 inclusive regulatory frameworks developed, improved and implemented in 14 countries that regulate value distribution, fair and equal access to inputs, land and natural resources, decent working conditions and child labour;
16 new private sector policies developed that address decent work and child labour, fair value distribution, natural resource management and women inclusion;
At least 100 local and international companies commit to improve transparency in the value chain;
20 innovative and inclusive technologies and innovations co-designed and implemented to enhance access to innovative solutions and best practices;
100 local multi-stakeholder dialogues initiated and strengthened to engage civil society and its agenda in debate with public and private decision makers;
100 million citizens in Europe, Africa and Asia reached to push the policy agenda around decent work and living income, influence societal and gender norms, and to produce and consume more sustainably;
200 civil society organizations in 17 countries with increased technical, operational and negotiation skills, and improved capacity to raise their voices and reach out to policy makers.