Where We Work
We work across Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Colombia, Ecuador, Paraguay, Peru, Suriname and Uruguay. We have a growing team of experts who develop innovative solutions to improve our partners’ sustainability performance, focusing on nine commodities sectors: Soy, Palm Oil, Sugarcane, Coffee, Cocoa, Tea and Yerba Mate, Livestock (Beef and Dairy), Gold and Fruit and Vegetables (Bananas and Orange).
Value chain inequities
Weaknesses in value chains prevent the region and its producers from reaching their full potential in terms of efficiency, competitiveness, inclusivity and climate mitigation. By addressing these issues, we contribute to more sustainable production and markets.
Integrated market solutions
We deliver practical solutions that result in efficient supply chains that optimize present and future resources. Our ambition is that these practical solutions are scaled by others, enabling the transformation of commodity sectors.
Carbon credits are becoming an important incentive to introduce smallholders to low-carbon agriculture. It increases farmers’ productivity and protects native forests. In 2022, we secured more than 6M EUR to scale access to the Acorn Platform, through which 80% of the carbon credits’ value returns to the farmer: an interesting proposition within voluntary markets
In 2021 we perfected our business propositions for low carbon agriculture and of deforestation-free coffee, cocoa, soy and livestock in the Amazon, Cerrado and Chaco biomes. We also piloted with success an economic scheme that rewards producers for their carbon captures in the international carbon market.
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.
Decreasing emissions, increasing productivity
Focused on landscape restoration and low-carbon agriculture, we reinforced engagement with companies and smallholder farmers in 2019. In Brazil, some of our cocoa programme participants sold their premium product at triple the price of standard cocoa. In Paraguay’s vulnerable Chaco region, dairy farmers decreased their greenhouse gas emissions by 62% while increasing productivity, and beef producers increased volumes by 60%, all using climate-smart methods.
Solidaridad South America is adapting its strategy to effectively serve farmers and companies with climate-smart solutions. We’re working towards more resilient production with fewer emissions and better use of land and water while avoiding deforestation. We work in the challenging and diverse landscapes of the Amazon, the savannas of the Brazilian Cerrado, the Colombian Orinoquia, and in the dry forests of Chaco. Innovations in digital and financial tools are key for up-scaling climate-smart solutions. The climate-smart cocoa beans from one of the producers in our cocoa programme were used to make the first chocolate from Tuêre at the Salon du Chocolat in Paris.
Replication and scale
At Solidaridad South America, the model for continual improvement to scale sustainable production has grown beyond its piloting phase. The private sector is now responding by replicating and scaling this model up. Solidaridad is making advancements in establishing more overarching interventions to integrate these in farm solutions with landscape approaches. In addition, Solidaridad is fostering an enabling policy environment to improve native forest conservation and smallholder resilience to climate change.
Competitors can collaborate
The Sustainable Trade Platform in Colombia concluded its first phase, proving that commercial competitors can successfully collaborate on common sustainability challenges. An external evaluation assessed this multi-stakeholder platform as neutral, safe and relevant. The platform helped to articulate standards, develop climate change adaptation solutions and support producers in making important value chains more inclusive and sustainable.
The Natural Beef Standards was launched in Paraguay with active support from Solidaridad for the ARP, the main producer association in the country. Cattle ranchers who raise cattle with natural grasses, free of hormones and antibiotics as well as within protected forest corridors, have now organized codes of conduct and guides adapted to the local situation and regulations in Paraguay. Producers used Solidaridad’s continual improvement tool to self-assess their practices and plan improvements.
Engaging and leading
By engaging with leading companies in the region, Solidaridad and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) increased the supply of soy produced in 2014 under several systems of sustainable management by 1.6 million metric tons, covering a total of 845,262 hectares. This confirms that a change of mindset in producers can drive bottom-up market transformation.
Climate smart agriculture
One of the key challenges affecting the highlands coffee sector in the Pacific region is climate change. Solidaridad’s climate-smart agriculture (CSA) model, in a context of sustainable landscape management, aims to have a positive impact on productivity, quality and even in halting the proliferation of diseases.
Private organizations understand that having sustainability credentials will enable them to remain in the market and, due to this acknowledgement, they have become the perfect channel to influence producers who now apply good agricultural practices.
Small artisanal miners
Solidaridad’s work in Peru has demonstrated that it is feasible for small-scale mining to be certified and to produce responsibly, giving small miners access to a sustainable jewel trade.
Inclusive and more diverse
In order for small producers to remain competitive, finding profitable leads for income diversification is key. This can be achieved through the vertical integration of suppliers in bigger agribusinesses or through producer associations.
Land use and regeneration
Considering that soy and livestock are the main deforestation drivers in the region, intensification models and land use planning have been one of Solidaridad’s main lines of intervention to build risk-free supply chains in the Brazilian Amazon and Cerrado biomes, Argentinian Chaco and Paraguayan Atlantic Forest agricultural frontiers.
Change that matters with partners who care. Find out what we can achieve together.
NEWS AND RESOURCES
Get in touch
Want to know more about our work in South America? Get in touch with our team.
Gonzalo La Cruz
Partnership Liaison for Latin America
Digital Solutions Unit Manager
Continental Supervisory Board
Roxana Barrantes, Roberto Ugaz, Bernardo Roehrs and Carolina Da Costa