Chapter 3: Partnerships

Chapter 3: Strategic partnerships

Annual report 2020

Dutch Postcode Lottery

First and foremost, we want to express our gratitude to the Dutch Postcode Lottery and its participants. The Postcode Lottery has been supporting Fairfood since 2009, with no less than 500 thousand euros a year. It’s fair to say we could not be where we are today without this support. This is not just the case for us – the lottery has the generous policy of putting at least 40 percent of its revenue towards organisations that make the world a better place regarding the environment, human rights and development cooperation.


The relationship between Fairfood and GIZ took-off in 2019 during the Bonn Living Wage Income event, a multi-stakeholder learning exchange hosted by GIZ. At the time, Fairfood’s Living Wage Lab was called to join the conversation about ways of addressing global poverty challenges through the concept of living income.

The alignment further consolidated when agri-food companies that were engaged with the Living Wage Lab, such as Unilever and Albert Heijn, manifested their need for an interactive tool that could reduce complexity surrounding the topic of living wages and incomes. Moreover, one that could guide them step by step.

Fairfood and Hivos, the initiators of the Living Wage Lab, initially designed the prototype of ALIGN back in 2019, with the Rainforest Alliance joining as a funder. Next, a proposal was made to GIZ, who became the main funder and responsible for implementation.

ALIGN’s Expert Partners

In October 2020, a Memorandum of Understanding was drawn up between Fairfood, the German Federal Ministry of Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ), GIZ, the Global Living Wage Coalition, Hivos, IDH – the Sustainable Trade Initiative, the Living Income Community of Practice, Rainforest Alliance, and Fairtrade International, in which all the parties endorse and recognise the potential and importance of ALIGN. With their and our expertise, ALIGN is growing into the number one portal for businesses that wish to realise living wages and incomes in their supply chain.


Last year, Solidaridad and Fairfood really found each other, you may say. Exploring a collaboration soon led to a fruitful partnership under the subsidy framework Power of Voices of the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs, which kicked-off in early 2021. Our joint 5-year programme, RECLAIM SUSTAINABILITY!, that also welcomed partners Trust Africa and Business Watch Indonesia, sets out to foster genuine and inclusive sustainability in global value chains, where the voices of farmers, workers, and citizens are well represented in decision-making and civil society is strengthened. (Read more in chapter 4)

I am very proud that we have such a strong consortium with organisations deeply rooted in the global South; together we will be able to make the voices of the South heard loud and clear, and work towards more inclusive and sustainable supply chains! My ambition is to make a big leap towards a world where it is considered normal that we take into account the interests of the farmers and workers at the beginning of international value chains in all policy decisions that directly impact their livelihoods worldwide.

Heske Verburg, Director Solidaridad Europe

“The pandemic is magnifying existing inequalities in food supply chains. While we are all highly dependent on smallholder farmers and workers for our food, they find themselves in exceptionally vulnerable positions. We remain optimistic, as we recognise that the world is gaining momentum to actually build up better as we collectively hit rock bottom. With greatly improved awareness for sustainability from everyone involved in global supply chains – consumers, government and private sector – we can make change happen. Our joint programme taps into this momentum using smart innovations, thus heralding an era of truly inclusive supply chains, in which farmers and workers reclaim their rightful voice.”

Sander de Jong, Fairfood director

Ministry of Foreign Affairs

As we are launching the RECLAIM Sustainability! programme, we also launch a strategic partnership with the Dutch Ministry of Foreign Affairs. Under their subsidy framework Power of Voices, the ministry stands up to act as more than a funder – they fulfil the role of a strategic partner who is highly involved with our programme. We are very much looking forward to this collaboration!


One of our longest standing partnerships has been with Hivos, with whom we first launched the Living Wage Lab in 2015. After years of fruitful collaboration, ultimately resulting in the launch of our youngest tool ALIGN, 2020 was the year that Hivos decided to step back from the Living Wage Lab, as a reorganisation had them move away from agri-food and focus on gender equality, climate justice and civil rights. Wishing them the best of luck on all future endeavours. Until we meet again!

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