After close to 50 years of facilitating global sustainability development, Solidaridad Netherlands officially became Solidaridad Europe in 2016. The focus has evolved to include the European region along four major activities: market development, policy influencing, communications and fundraising.
Solidaridad develops strategic partnerships with commercial organizations to invest in good business practice and commit to higher standards of sustainability.
We promote market reforms that encourage producers and consumers to choose sustainable products. Some of our partners include:
- Friesland Campina
As the Dutch government shifts the basis of its development budget "from aid to trade", it recognizes Solidaridad’s expertise and supports our programmes around the world.
Solidaridad’s campaigns are aimed at making consumers and policymakers aware of the need for goods to be produced within sustainable supply chains. This increases demand and encourages companies to adapt their procedures.
From words to action
Companies are increasingly pledging to buy from sustainable suppliers and invest in good business practice. Nonetheless, some businesses do better than others at honouring these corporate social responsibility commitments.
When agreements are not adhered to it demotivates producers and weakens the market for sustainable goods. As such, Solidaridad Europe has focused its attention on underperformers – companies that do not make good on their promises.
One such is example was the Dutch soy importers, who failed to increase the amount of soy they bought from RTRS certified producers in line with the agreed timetable.
In such cases, Solidaridad aims to be a constructive yet critical partner. This can prompt a range of actions, which sometimes includes criticising companies to prompt them to act on their good intentions.
Expanding the debate
In the past, our work has focused on developing systems to ensure sustainable standards are upheld.
While this remains a key component of changing corporate behaviour, we believe there is also a need for a wider critical debate on the value of these systems. Are they able to address the root causes of poverty, or are supplementary measures needed?
Solidaridad Europe will use the information that emerges from such discussions to hone our methods in order to reflect the priorities of today’s producers and consumers.
INFORMATION FOR THE PRESS
Bram Verkerke, Communication & Press
Tel: +31 (0)30 272 0313