Inclusive business is at the core of everything we do. We promote long-term business relationships fulfilling farmers' and buyers' needs alike. We ensure the sustainability of our actions through a holistic sustainable food systems approach facilitating collective action with all food system actors.
The majority of our work is structured around three global programmes: our Sustainable Rice, Sustainable Cocoa and Coffee, and Good Food for Cities programmes. We are also involved in some food system initiatives that do not directly align with these three global programmes.
As of 2022, we focus on three pillars: sustainable production, market inclusion and an enabling environment. Regenerative agricultural practices are integrated within each of these three pillars. We also pay special attention to the empowerment of women and young people in every aspect of our work.
In this video, our Executive Director Chris Claes tells you more about the approach we embarked on in 2022.
Continue reading to explore the summary of our 2022 achievements, or dive straight into our full 2022 Annual Report.
With global food consumption, markets and decision-making centres concentrated in urban areas, cities play a fundamental role in sparking a shift towards more sustainable food systems. They are laboratories to test new ideas, models and collaborations. Our Good Food for Cities programme approaches urban food systems through a systems-thinking lens. We strive to build interconnections between actors and to foster collective action mechanisms and inclusive business relationships through participatory and inclusive food governance structures. We try to understand how different areas are connected to each other and to identify levers for systems change that help us to navigate difficult trade-offs, such as how to improve access to affordable healthy food, while incentivising farmers and food chain workers to adopt more sustainable practices.
Explore some of the highlights of our Good Food for Cities programme in 2022.
Rice is a complex crop. It is a staple food for almost half of the world's population, and a key crop in the fight against food insecurity. It is sensitive to climate variability whilst also having a huge environmental footprint. And it is a politically sensitive crop: on the one hand, governments call for low prices for consumers, while on the other hand, a “good” price needs to be ensured for producers. In between lie the interests of all other actors. At Rikolto, we apply a systems approach to contribute to the transformation of the rice sector. We work towards decent incomes and working conditions for all actors in the rice sector, a reduced environmental impact of rice and safe, healthy, quality rice for consumers. To do so, we promote the dissemination of sustainable practices following the Sustainable Rice Platform (SRP) Standard for Rice Cultivation among all value chain actors, and we facilitate the development of inclusive business relationships between them on domestic and regional markets. The collective action of a wide range of food system stakeholders is a powerful vehicle for orienting the development of the entire sector. It steers the development of an enabling environment where best initiatives spread and innovation flourishes.
Explore some of the highlights of our Sustainable Rice programme in 2022.
Living incomes for farmers are essential for truly resilient cocoa and coffee farming communities. This requires guaranteed minimum prices, good agricultural practices, income diversification strategies and a strong enabling environment. We have moved beyond a value chain approach to a food systems approach, looking not only at cocoa and coffee, but also to the farming systems in which they are grown. We partner with cooperatives, private companies, financial institutions, government actors and other development organisations to reach sustainable local food systems that enable cocoa and coffee communities to thrive.
Explore some of the highlights of our Sustainable Cocoa and Coffee programme in 2022.
We closely work with cooperatives, civil society organisations, private companies, commodity platforms, government institutions, business service providers, research institutes, knowledge networks and many other food system actors.
In 2022, Rikolto financially supported 156 organisations in 18 countries in Africa, Asia and Latin America, compared to 144 the previous year. 56% of these are farmers’ organisations, compared to 62% in 2021. Apart from farmer organisations, we also closely work with – and sometimes financially support – local NGOs, commodity platforms, different national and sub-national government institutions, business service providers and/or research institutes.
Engaging in the right collaborations leads us to higher impact and allows us to work on a broader scale. In this playing field, intensive dialogues with a very diverse range of actors allow us to stay in tune with what's happening in the world today. Rikolto’s role in these partnerships is also diverse: from actively contributing evidence from our work on the ground to networks and learning alliances, over facilitating dialogue between different food system actors to bring their interests closer together, to promoting scaling of successful practices and influencing agendas in favour of sustainable and inclusive food systems.
We can count on the support of a wide range of donors, from governments to multilateral organisations, foundations and companies.
We can also count on the support of a loyal base of private donors in Belgium, which we are continuing to build. In 2022, we raised a total of €1,642,697 of private funding for the Rikolto network, compared to €1,876,356 in 2021. Our annual campaign, sportive events, structural gifts, collaborations with companies and city governments and bequests all contributed to this.
At Rikolto, we are proud to interconnect more than 200 people and 21 different nationalities worldwide. 50% of our staff works in Africa.
There is a pretty good global balance between men and women (55%-45%), although this is mainly due to a prevalence of female staff in Southeast Asia and Europe. Also for women in leadership we aim to have a 50/50 distribution soon.
We have a mix of younger and more experienced staff with 3 out of 10 colleagues under age 35.
In general, there is a small increase in staff in 2022 due to the start of a new programme cycle in that year. Only in Southeast Asia the total number of staff has decreased, amongst others due to the creation of one regional management team.
This report covers the financial activities of three entities: the Belgian Public Interest Foundation Rikolto International s.o.n., Rikolto Belgium v.z.w., and Rikolto Consult. Together, the three entities spent € 17,273,295 in 2022 and received € 17,062,795, resulting in a negative year balance of € 210,500.