The importance of coffee to the nations that grow it cannot be underestimated. This crop supports over 25 million farmers worldwide and generates the income needed to maintain governments' ability to supply essential social services like health and education.
But producing coffee is hard work. It involves carrying heavy loads, often on steep slopes. The industry depends heavily on migrant labour and seasonal workers that are often housed in conditions that would not be considered decent from a human rights lens. Many workers receive low wages that aren't consistent with achieving a basic standard of decency in life. Understanding how to address this issue means accounting for a complicated supply chain where coffee often changes hands dozens of times before reaching the consumer.
The collaboration of Global Living Wage Coalition members, particularly Fairtrade International and the Rainforest Alliance/UTZ, on living wage for the coffee sector aims to overcome these issues and provide a better life for workers.
Colombia Living Wage Benchmark Study: Rural Santa Marta Region
The Living Wage Benchmark work in Colombia is supported by Fairtrade International through funding and facilitation of the study. The study will cover banana producing areas of Colombia, likely with two separate benchmarks to reflect discrepancies in cost of living across different areas of the country where bananas are produced. Our first benchmark is expected to cover the Rural Santa Marta Region using the agriculture industry as context. This study launched in April 2018 and is expected to be completed and validated before year end 2018.
Rural Mexico Living Wage Benchmark Study - Chiapas Area
The Living Wage Benchmark work in Mexico is supported by UTZ joining forces with Rainforest Alliance through funding and facilitation of the study, and as part of a larger project to address living wage in coffee supply chains. The study will cover the Chiapas area of Mexico, using the agriculture industry and coffee sector as context. This study is expected to be validated and released by Q3 2018.