Solidaridad North America is the face of the Solidaridad Network throughout the region. It develops relationships with North American partners to facilitate the creation of socially responsible, environmentally sound, and economically viable commodity supply chains globally.
Climate change, increasing water scarcity, demanding customers and shareholders all signal the need for production and consumption systems that safeguard the environment, ensure the well-being of communities, and respect the bottom-lines of companies.
Governments, businesses, and consumers are becoming increasingly conscious of the need to create food systems that increase production in a sustainable manner, while addressing poverty and food insecurity.
North American consumer goods companies facing challenges in their supply chains are working towards ethical and sustainable sourcing of commodities. Food safety, traceability, waste reduction, and the integration of digital technologies to improve food production are also rapidly gaining attention.
International consumer goods companies are making commitments to sustainable sourcing and producer support. However, making the commitments is often easier than implementing the steps necessary to achieve them.
Solidaridad North America, together with the rest of the Solidaridad Network, helps companies achieve these goals by providing on-the-ground expertise and by developing innovative solutions to supply chain challenges.
Together with philanthropic foundations and civil society organizations, Solidaridad identifies opportunities to increase the sustainability of commodity supply chains and mobilizes resources to achieve sector-wide change.
Since its establishment in 2012, Solidaridad North America has developed partnerships with philanthropic foundations and companies to implement innovative supply chain programmes for commodities such as cocoa, coffee, cotton, livestock, palm oil, soy, and sugarcane in countries as diverse as China, Brazil, Indonesia, Ghana, Mexico, El Salvador, and India.
These initiatives have focused on protecting degraded ecosystems, while simultaneously improving the livelihoods of small producers, through capacity building for improved production practices, and facilitating access to finance and markets. A special emphasis on women and youth is integrated across all commdoity programmes.
Solidaridad has well-established relationships with foundations such as the MasterCard Foundation, the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, the Walmart Foundation, and the Gordon and Betty Moore Foundation and corporate partners as diverse as PepsiCo and the Estée Lauder Corporation.
Encouraging young farmers
Solidaridad develops partnerships with a broad range of North America based entities. For example, Solidaridad established a partnership with the MasterCard Foundation, implemented by Solidaridad West Africa, as part of the Foundation’s Youth Forward Initiative.
- Palm oil
Increasing yields and incomes
With support from the David and Lucile Packard Foundation, Solidaridad North America, in partnership with Solidaridad South and South East Asia, is developing a programme on palm oil production in Indonesia that will increase yields and incomes of farmers, while avoiding both deforestation and associated greenhouse gas emissions.
Supporting female farmers
The Walmart Foundation’s Global Women’s Economic Empowerment Initiative is supporting a programme that complements the Better Cotton Initiative training to address the needs of female farmers in China. Together with improving cotton production practices, the programme, implemented by Solidaridad China, focuses on strengthening the leadership and entrepreneurship skills of women in the field.
Improving worker health
The Kellogg Company supported Solidaridad to develop training materials for addressing the causes of Chronic Kidney Disease from non-Traditional causes, an epidemic affecting sugarcane cutters in Central America. This is part of a much larger initiative, funded by the Dutch Postcode Lottery, to attack the root causes of the disease.
Tackling mining challenges
With an emphasis on improving the wellbeing of artisanal miners, Solidaridad became a member of the Public-Private Alliance for Responsible Minerals Trade, a multi-sector and multi-stakeholder initiative supporting supply chain solutions to conflict minerals challenges in the Democratic Republic of Congo and the Great Lakes Region of Central Africa.
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.
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.
Solidaridad has now fully grown into its role as an adviser to North American consumer goods companies and private foundations on issues such as sectoral trends, multi-stakeholder initiatives, opportunities and risks within supply chains, and we continue to form partnerships to achieve sustainability targets.
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