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FAIRTRADE LAUNCHES CONSULTATION ON LIVING WAGES FOR BANANA WORKERS

Original text: http://fairtr.de/jRM


Have your say on our plans to make a living wage a reality for all workers on Fairtrade certified banana plantations.





Fairtrade International is launching a public consultation on a model to enable banana plantation workers to earn a Living Wage. We are inviting all relevant stakeholders, including workers, plantation owners, retailers and traders to take part so that, together, we can make Living Wages a reality for all workers on Fairtrade certified banana plantations.

INADEQUATE WAGES REMAIN A REALITY FOR MANY BANANA WORKERS

One of the most pressing and unresolved challenges for the banana sector remains ensuring a Living Wage for banana workers. In many producer countries, workers are paid the national legal minimum wage. But this is often far below what is needed for workers to have a decent standard of living – enough to feed their families, enjoy safe housing, send their children to school, afford adequate healthcare and put some aside for emergencies.

In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic has increased the insecurity and vulnerability of millions of agricultural workers worldwide, including those working on Fairtrade certified banana plantations. In response, Fairtrade has established the Fairtrade Producer Relief Fund and Fairtrade Producer Resilience Fund to support both producers and workers - but in the long term, a Living Wage is the best way to ensure workers can provide for their families.

FAIRTRADE MAKES A DIFFERENCE – BUT THERE IS STILL A LONG WAY TO GO

For many years and in many countries, there has been no agreed Living Wage for agricultural workers. Fairtrade, as a founder member of the Global Living Wage Coalition, has been working to change this by settings Living Wage benchmarks - including for banana producing countries. Based on the Anker methodology, the benchmarks tell us the estimated wages needed to cover the basic needs of workers and their families, including food, clothing, shelter, healthcare, education, transport to work and a little extra for unforeseen circumstances.

In some countries, such as Colombia and Ecuador, banana workers are already earning, or are close to earning living wages. In others, there is still some way to go. Over the years, the Fairtrade Premium has offered economic support to millions of farmers and workers through low-interest loans, subsidized medical care, scholarships and...


Read the full text in its original publication: http://fairtr.de/jRM

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