Where We Work
Across Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean, smallholder farmers and large industrial agriculture are competing for land and market space. At the same time, international demand for more sustainable sugarcane, palm oil, cacao, coffee and livestock is increasing. We work with producers, processing mills and commodity traders to strengthen the social, environmental and occupational health performance in the production of these important crops.
Adverse conditions for the already vulnerable
Social exclusion, decent work, outdated land-use practices and lack of access to credit are just a few of the critical challenges Solidaridad is addressing. In collaboration with diverse partners, we build awareness, capacity, and deliver solutions to promote change that matters.
Partnerships and collaboration
Our partnerships in the region focus on sustainable social, economical and environmental improvements. We have strong relationships with national government actors, the private sector and civil society organizations. We are considered the go-to partner in the design and implementation of large-scale initiatives with an integrated landscape management approach.
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 Honduras.
We signed multiple agreements with government, private sector and civil society organizations in 2019, and led the development of high-impact landscape programmes such as the Zero Deforestation Declaration in Honduras. Ongoing drought spotlighted our climate change adaptation and mitigation initiatives. MESA, our integrated landscape management strategy, drove the development of business models for landscape transformation.
Growing in action and vision
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.
New business models
In 2017, regional commodity-based multi-stakeholder platforms and sustainable landscape initiatives in Honduras and Nicaragua matured under the leadership of a strengthened and professionalized Solidaridad team. Innovations were integrated in impact investment, digital technology, gender inclusion, and climate solutions. Solidaridad introduced new business models to meet the growing demand for guidance and support from the private sector, government and civil society organizations.
Optimizing sector transformation
Solidaridad Central America leveraged experience and relationships built over the past five years to launch regional platforms that create flows of information and innovation to optimize sector transformation of key commodities. Solidaridad also encouraged sharing successful solutions among sectors, boosting capital flows, and accelerating and increasing the impact of sustainable and inclusive practices, including youth participation and gender equity.
Measurable results, proven innovation, published research and increased international visibility led to strengthened multi-actor engagement in multiple sectors. The stage was set for upscaling interventions at national and regional levels. Sectors moved from farm to landscape in continual improvement schemes. Efficiency and leverage matter as good practices are increasingly considered “business as usual.”
Expanding sustainability standards
Pilot projects for palm oil in Honduras and Guatemala and for sugarcane in Mexico have expanded as sustainability standards were shown to be both attainable and effective for all stakeholders. By the end of the year, producers and processors throughout the region were asking to participate.
From bean to bar
In Nicaragua, Solidaridad worked with BICU University to develop the first agroforestry cocoa diploma, giving priority participation to women and youth, while n Honduras, members of the national network of women in cocoa and chocolate learned to process and market cocoa products, leading to the launch of several women-led enterprises.
MAPA — Mesoamerican Palm Oil Alliance
Mexico and Central America are considered to be a promising new frontier for oil palm expansion as the availability of suitable land in Malaysia and Indonesia becomes increasingly limited and global demand for palm oil continues to grow. Palm oil is by far the most productive of crop-derived oils, and can actually represent an improvement in ecological function if plantations are established on degraded lands.
PanameriCaña — Sustainable Sugarcane Platform
Sugarcane is one of the fastest-growing commodities across Mexico and Central America. Solidaridad has partnered with the region´s leading sugarcane producers to launch PanAmericaña, a multi-stakeholder platform of sugar mills across Mexico, El Salvador and Honduras to improve production, labour conditions and standards across the industry.
Coffee platforms in Honduras and Nicaragua
This initiative aims to transform the coffee sector in Honduras and Nicaragua through the identification of a national joint agenda for sustainability. Solidaridad has launched these two national platforms in partnership with Rainforest Alliance, the Global Coffee Platform and Rikolto.
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Get in touch
Want to know more about our work in Central America, Mexico, and the Caribbean? Get in touch with our team.
Continental Supervisory Board
Roxana Barrantes, Roberto Ugaz, Bernardo Roehrs and Carolina Da Costa