Bananas in Ghana and Ecuador
The information contained in this case study has been supplied by World Banana Forum.
Living Wage Advocacy Initiative (LIWIN)
In both Ecuador and Ghana, bananas continue to be a core commodity for income generation. This pilot project provides a powerful opportunity to determine the gap between actual wages and living wages, and ultimately establish a living wage benchmark in each country using the Anker methodology.
In many banana-producing countries, it is common that plantation workers receive low wages that do not allow them to escape from poverty, affecting their overall well-being and the sustainability of the sector’s supply chains.
The initiative was launched in 2016 by the World Banana Forum (WBF) and Fairtrade International—a leading member of the Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC)—and has been co-funded by IDH The Sustainable Trade Initiative and other public/private entities.
- Estimating the cost of a living wage for workers in both rural and urban areas of each country
- Informing collective bargaining and minimum wage setting in the banana sector of each country
- Raising awareness and increasing transparency on living wage benchmarks within countries and along supply chains
- Increasing stakeholder commitment by engaging with and empowering actors in closing the gap between actual wages and living wages through advocacy activities with governments and trade unions
Engaging local and global stakeholders in the initiative not only provides important short- and long-term benefits to such actors respectively, but is also key to the success of the initiative.
Banana workers and producers can use living wage data collected through this initiative to:
- Strengthen their dialogue for wage increases via collective bargaining agreements
- Improve their individual social conditions (i.e. health, education) and productivity, resulting from increases in wage payments
- By supporting sustainable working conditions for banana workers, retailers and companies can:
- Strengthen their corporate social responsibility objectives and benefit from increased brand reputation
- Create the necessary pressure to push other retailers and suppliers to engage in sustainability-oriented activities
- Furthermore, LIWIN can provide government entities with the necessary information and strategies to implement policies that promote human rights and improve working conditions for banana workers in Ecuador and Ghana.
- Research analysis and field work benchmarking study
- In-country validation sessions and meetings with relevant stakeholders
- Advocacy and capacity building work based on benchmarks established