The Global Living Wage Coalition is delighted to announce the new Anker Reference Value methodology, the next step on our journey to measure and improve Living Wages and Living Incomes around the world. It builds on data and knowledge gained from 40 complete Anker methodology benchmark studies (most of which are published on the GLWC website). Anker Reference Values provide a credible estimate of living wage or income at a country level, for rural and urban areas. They offer an insightful reference beyond the currently available indicators for many countries, which are mostly limited to poverty lines and minimum wages.
As the living wage concept has become more mainstream, the need for high-quality living wage estimates has increased dramatically. However, the very qualities that make Anker Living Wage and Income Benchmarks so relevant and accepted—a normative basis, rigorous on-the-ground research, quality control, and a robust validation process — have also made it impossible to complete Anker benchmark studies everywhere they are needed.
Anker Reference Values can be estimated more quickly than full-fledged Anker benchmarks. With this new, globally scalable and efficient methodology, members of the Coalition, companies, trade unions, and other stakeholders will be able to understand wage and income gaps to decency for many more countries and start working to reduce them. Reference values enable risk assessments and prioritization on a global scale. Full Anker benchmark studies remain our Gold Standard for highly localized measurement of Living Wage and Living Income. Learn more about the methodology.
The first Reference Values are now available:
Praise for Anker Reference Value Methodology
“Fairtrade International’s dedication to promoting Living Wages as a human right means we are committed to providing relevant benchmarks to employers and workers, buyers and retailers in our system. That commitment also extends to sectors and industries which influence wages in Fairtrade certified companies. That’s why we asked the Anker research network to develop a methodology to provide credible Living Wage values in those cases where a locally researched, in-depth report is not available. The outcome – the Anker Reference Values – is an innovative tool for calculating wage deficiencies which will help to model the costs of production. It will also help to inform wage negotiations between employers and unions, and price discussions between producers and buyers. We commend the Anker Research Network for this important achievement and greatly appreciate the support of our partners. Fairtrade is excited that the Anker Reference Values have been added to the menu of tools of the Global Living Wage Coalition and will be publicly available on the GLWC website.”
Social Accountability International:
“Anker Reference Values are an incredibly valuable asset in the fight for global living wages. At SAI, we work with thousands of organizations in over 55 industries and 60 countries on measuring and improving wages. In places where Anker benchmarks are not available, the Reference Values will serve as credible, external reference points which our stakeholders can build upon. This is a significant improvement on previously available references, which have been limited to poverty lines, minimum wages, industry wages, etc. The Reference Values will be a powerful new tool for risk assessments and targeted intervention and support to improve wages across our network.”
“The Rainforest Alliance newly published 2020 Certification Program defines a bolder, long-term vision to improve farmers and workers livelihoods and advance their human rights to Living wage and Living income. The first essential step in this approach is determining what is the value of living wage & income in some 70 countries in which Rainforest Alliance operate in order to understand the gap that needs to be bridged. The new Anker Reference Value methodology allows us to scale our new approach centered on transparency and shared responsibility as it increases the number of countries for which internationally comparable and authoritative benchmarks for living wage and living income are available. This is a major milestone in our collective journey on making global food systems more sustainable and responsible by improving the livelihoods of the millions of farmers and workers in agricultural supply chains.”
The Anker Reference Values are endorsed by the Global Living Wage Coalition (Fairtrade International, Rainforest Alliance, Social Accountability International and ISEAL Alliance). Development of the methodology was initiated and supported by Fairtrade International and German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ). Further support was received from Rainforest Alliance, Social Accountability International and Clif Bar & Company.
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