How a “Living Wage” will be calculated and updated requires a global consensus, the organisation stated, while the costs of implementation must be shared

African banana association Afruibana believes living wages are key to ensuring fairness and sustainability in the global banana sector, provided that they are clearly and predictably calculated.

Current discussions on living wages, the association said, were an opportunity to “recall the primacy of social dialogue, trade unions representation and collective bargaining, as framed in our national legislations and regulations”.

Since the International Labour Organisation had not yet established a definition, Afruibana explained, it was essential that the method used to calculate and update a “Living Wage” resulted from a global consensus and was “clear, stable and predictable”.

“The commitment and fulfilment of employees are the cornerstone of any company’s performance,” the organisation stated. “It is especially the case in the horticultural sector, where everyone knows the importance of technical excellence and teamwork.

“The creation of dignified and sustainable jobs is thus a priority for African banana producers. In this endeavour, the implementation of living wages on a global scale corresponds to a need for social justice and an imperative for sustainable development. We African producers fully support this.”

Afruibana also reiterated the importance of sharing the costs of implementation. “As the World Banana Forum recently recalled, the cost of implementing living wages must be shared between all actors in the value chain,” it said. “Indeed, each actor, from producer to final buyer and consumer, has a responsibility to ‘do their part’ and contribute to making the banana sector ever fairer and more sustainable.”