East Africa Flower Industry
The information contained in this case study has been supplied by Fairtrade International
Living Wage for East African Flowers
This programme aims to promote Living Wages for workers in flowers and plants by producing research on living wage and wage setting in Ethiopia and Kenya. The programme aims to build awareness regarding wage issues, mutual trust required for collaboration and acceptance of the need for Living Wage among supply chain actors. As part of the programme new instruments have been created to drive change, including a Floor Wage for workers in floriculture.
To promote Living Wages in the production of East African flowers and plants.
The initial outcome of the living wage benchmark studies were discussed with several local stakeholders and in roundtable discussions.
The wage structure analyses and Living Wage benchmarks will serve as a basis for further discussion on how to work towards improved wages for the workers in the horticulture sector.
In 2017 GLWC member Fairtrade International introduced in its standard a Floor Wage for floriculture that seeks to address wage levels set below international poverty lines due to the absence of a legal minimum wages and other factors. Fairtrade has applied the World Bank absolute poverty line of US$ 1.90 corrected for purchasing power parity, related to typical family size and number of wage earners to create a minimum requirement for base wages. The Floor Wage for floriculture is approximately 80% higher than current entry-level base wages in Ethiopia (1500 vs. 800 Birr). Fairtrade allows a transition period for already certified plantations of 2 years, whereby 85% of the floor needs to be reached after year 1. The Floor Wage is also meant to help level the playing field between Ethiopian and Kenyan producers, the latter having to comply with minimum wage laws and CBA rates.