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Carl Collen

BY CARL COLLEN

Fairtrade takes living wage action

Group has proposed a plan to achieve living wages for workers on Fairtrade-certified plantations

Fairtrade takes living wage action

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Fairtrade International, including US-based Fairtrade America, has proposed an actionable plan to achieve living wages for workers on Fairtrade-certified banana plantations.

The organisation defines living wage as the estimated income needed to cover basic needs of workers and their families, including food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, and education.

Fairtrade has highlighted how many countries do not have living wage standards for agricultural workers.
 
To ensure banana plantation workers are fairly compensated, Fairtrade has proposed a number of measures:

- A Fairtrade Base Wage to compensate Fairtrade banana workers as a baseline, even if the legal minimum wage in the country is lower.

- As a temporary measure to close the gap, up to 30 per cent of the Fairtrade Premium must be paid out as a cash bonus. Fairtrade’s unique model includes a Premium fund that farming cooperatives receive on top of the price of the product. Co-op members vote to determine how the money is spent, typically on community programmes such as access to education or healthcare.

- A requirement for plantations to report key data, including the number of workers, lowest gross salaries, sales volumes and lists of social benefits. This information will help Fairtrade to better monitor and communicate our impact on Living Wages and strengthen our price-setting model.

According to Fairtrade international, the success of the proposal depends on commitment and collaboration among all stakeholders in the supply chain.

Fairtrade has therefore issued a public consultation, calling on workers, plantation owners, retailers and traders, to share feedback.

You can access the consultation here.

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