North America

Solidaridad is driving change in the North American market through public and private partnerships for sustainable supply chain development, sensitizing market players on innovative sourcing approaches, developing investment mechanisms to support farmers and miners in global supply chains to achieve sustainability benchmarks, furthering commitments to sector-wide standards, promoting learning and participating in policy platforms.
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Where We Work

North America is a major market for commodities. Companies, foundations, and institutions across the continent are increasing their commitments to support sustainable production and promote resilient economies. Solidaridad North America partners with such organizations to achieve sustainability goals in developing regions, facilitating opportunities to build direct connections and drive impact for farmers, miners, and workers across the globe.


The ripple effect of inequity

The political and economic climate in the region has the potential to dramatically impact both giving from institutional funders and corporations, as well as consumption and consumer priorities. The global stresses of climate change and the COVID-19 pandemic have a ripple effect through the supply chain, while at the other end, consumers, shareholders, and governments are increasingly demanding ethical practices from corporations.

Climate change is already wreaking havoc on supply chains worldwide, with smallholder producers, large corporations, and consumers increasingly feeling the effects in price fluctuation, availability of raw materials, food and livelihood security, and bottom lines. In a dramatically globalized market, sustainable environmental practices will shape the future for all.

Access to economic opportunity and prosperity remains a challenge for smallholder producers globally, especially women, youth, indigenous communities, and other marginalized populations. The challenge for corporations and donors alike remains how to support programming and policies that are inclusive and equitable, both domestically and across the world.

Although a growing number of stakeholders — including consumers, shareholders, and community members in production areas — are pushing companies to promote transparency, sustainability, and ethics within their operations and supply chains, a lack of ground-level and reliable data make this a difficult promise to deliver on.


Driving tangible commitments

Solidaridad engages stakeholders to make tangible commitments that create more ethical and sustainable supply chains in the form of financial and technical support for global programmes. Through this, shaping conversations, and ensuring voices from every step of the supply chain are represented in key decisions, especially the most disadvantaged, such as small producers and factory workers.

There is no silver bullet for sustainability. Transformative change in the supply chain comes from collaboration and dynamic partnerships. Partnerships between private companies, philanthropic organizations, governments, and nonprofits like Solidaridad create important linkages between different players in the value chain, and can improve working conditions and economic opportunities for smallholder producers and workers.

Sensitization and education on alternative and responsible production and sourcing practices is a critical component of engaging and drawing in partners. Through strategic collaboration, communication, and implementation of innovative ideas and approaches, Solidaridad supports market actors to pursue new opportunities for furthering sustainability in their supply chains.

Solidaridad works to amplify the voices of smallholder farmers, miners, and workers means shaping conversations that will have benefits all along the supply chain, leading to more sustainable and efficient production, improved livelihoods, and increased resilience.


Strong advances and new partnerships

In 2023, Solidaridad’s North America office continued to gain traction and influence with high-value donors, the private and public sector, and foundations. The Amazonia Connect initiative made strong advances in its first full year of implementation. New partnerships with Cargill, the Walmart Foundation, and The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation have pushed our sustainability work forward with a focus on sustainable production, digital innovation, and climate solutions. The publication of the Small Farmer Atlas and progress on new digital tools piqued interest in the public and private sectors as the impacts of policy shifts and climate change are felt in global supply chains.

Jennifer Horning, second from right, on a panel about a Just Transition with BRS at Climate Week 2023

New grants, more impact

Given policy shifts on climate action and sustainability, Solidaridad was recognized for its cutting-edge solutions on climate, equity and decent work. Amazonia Connect, Solidaridad’s largest grant outside the European Union, was approved by USAID. Various tech companies engaged with us to address transparency, traceability and impact in the minerals space

The Amazonia Connect Team in Washington D.C.

Participation and collaboration

In 2021, Solidaridad continued to grow by leaps and bounds in North America, solidifying important partnerships and growing visibility through participation in relevant events and media opportunities. Through collaboration with global colleagues and a deep understanding of donor perspectives and needs, Solidaridad was able to make significant progress on its 2021-2025 strategic plan.

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.

Transition and reflection

This was a year of transition and reflection. We progressed on building meaningful partnerships, and brought together stakeholders to address pressing issues in supply chain sustainability. With the onboarding of a new managing director, our lean team assessed the current internal and external landscape and rebuilt its strategy for 2020 and beyond. This included an analysis of the unique position we have to pursue opportunities for impact globally.

Growing recognition

The year 2018 saw Solidaridad begin to emerge from anonymity in North America. We were featured on national television, received a significant award, hosted a major conference and participated in numerous events, activities and publications throughout the year. In a region with more than a million non-governmental organizations, it has been a successful year for us.

Collaboration is key

The year 2017 was an eventful one for Solidaridad North America. The team continued to manage existing partnerships and develop new ones with leading brands and civil society organizations. Solidaridad focused significantly on improving external communication and enhancing brand recognition through different channels. In addition, the North American team developed several important proposals in collaboration with other regional centres in the Solidaridad Network.

A lean team with big goals

Small but effective – that is Solidaridad North America in a nutshell. With a lean team, Solidaridad is punching above its weight in terms of proposals developed and relationships managed. In 2016, Solidaridad developed proposals in collaboration with all regional centres in the Network, strengthened its connections across North America and managed relationships with both current and prospective supporters and partners.

Growing commitments

Solidaridad North America continues to develop significant partnerships with companies, foundations and government agencies, engaging in an ever-widening range of activities. The highlight of the year was the consummation of a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation to implement a five-year, $15 million youth empowerment programme in the cocoa sector of Ghana, starting in 2016.

Becoming a trusted advisor

Solidaridad has grown into its role as an adviser to North American consumer goods companies and private foundations on issues including sectoral trends, multi-stakeholder initiatives, opportunities and risks within supply chains, and we continue to form partnerships to achieve sustainability targets.

Budding partnerships

Together with establishing its presence in North America, Solidaridad establishes a partnership with Walmart Foundation to support female cotton farmers in China. Solidaridad also builds relationships with several networks and civil society organizations, including the Tropical Forest Alliance 2020.

Setting the stage

The North America office is established as a legal entity in the United States, enabling Solidaridad to engage strategically with key market players and institutions across the region. Focused on partnership building, the office will support network-wide activities designed to promote sustainable land use and strengthen commodity supply chains.

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Get in touch

Want to know more about our work in North America? Get in touch with our team.

2120 University Ave
Berkeley, CA, 94708

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Michaelyn Baur
Managing Director, North America

Jennifer Horning
Head of Corporate Engagement

Madhyama Subramanian
Head of Programmes and Partnerships

Kyle Freund
Senior Communications Manager

Continental Supervisory Board

The Continental Supervisory Board of Solidaridad North America is responsible for monitoring policies, quality of programmes, financial control and the performance of the office in North America. They support in setting the parameters for growth, determining the future direction, and ensuring a strong national and continental presence. The current board has four members: Deborah Barry, Kannan Pashupathy, Barbara Stinson, and Chris Wolz.

Deborah Barry is a rural development and environment specialist with over 40 years of experience working in Central America and Mexico. Her formal training was as an economic and cultural geographer (University California, Berkeley ’74) and in social anthropology (CIESAS, Mexico ’79). Governance, resource management and tenure rights over the land and resources of smallholders and communities who depend on them have been a central concern during career, whether in agriculture, water, agroforestry or community forestry. Resource management at scale – through payment for ecosystem services or large landscape restoration- have also been a focus of her work, seen as pathways for helping rural communities adapt to climate change and other major challenges they face. Her numerous publications reflect those concerns. 

Deborah has held a wide range of institutional positions with over half her career building applied research organizations, and then in philanthropy and public service.

Over the years she has also worked as an international consultant for Norad, Sida, Danida and USAID. She has been an advisor and senior technical staff in public office: Ministry Environment- El Salvador/ Ministry of Planning-CEPAL/Nicaragua. She later became the Policy Director of the Global Water Initiative in Central America and then the WaterSmart Agriculture program with Catholic Relief Services, a Buffett Foundation funded program across Mesoamerica. She currently lives in Oaxaca, Mexico and is a senior advisor to Fundación Prisma, CRS-RAICES in Central America, and a Fellow of the Global Evergreening Alliance.

Kannan Pashupathy is a technology executive who has worked at Google, Agilent Technologies and
Hewlett-Packard Company in various engineering and product leadership roles over a period spanning
more than three decades. Kannan is a member of Solidaridad Network’s North America and International
Supervisory Boards.

Barbara Stinson is an executive leader with extensive experience in  building institutions, negotiating solutions on controversial policy issues, creating strong partnerships and executing complex, international projects. She led the World Food Prize Foundation into a new era through the global pandemic to deliver in three areas: Highest awards in food and agriculture, International Borlaug Dialogues and global youth training and programming. She mobilized 26 WFP Laureates in open letters to the President Biden Administration and meeting of the G7 to urgently address global food insecurity needs during global climate change, COVID-19 and the invasion of Ukraine. Named the challenge in early March 2022 “the triple threat of three C’s: Climate, COVID and Conflict”.

During 22 years with Meridian Institute, she developed and implemented over 40 major stakeholder-based projects, especially in African agricultural development controlling aflatoxin, renewable energy, ecosystem restoration, chemical waste management, and natural resource management.

Chris Wolz is board chair of Forum One, a digital agency focused on making an impact on important issues in health, education, environment, international development.  Forum One helps clients better succeed in mission-driven work, by improving their overall digital platforms for communication, engagement, data collection and sharing, fundraising, and team collaboration. Their clients include government agencies at the Federal, state, local, and international levels; nonprofit organizations engaged in research, professional associations, and advocacy; grantmaking foundations; and private companies engaged in making a difference on global problems.  Chris brings a deep understanding of the world of policy issues ranging from international development to climate change. Before joining Forum One Chris worked in rural Nepal in water supply and sanitation, in environmental engineering, and as an environmental policy analyst for the US government.  Chris has a bachelor’s degree in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin, Madison, and a masters in Public Policy from the Harvard Kennedy School.

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