9/11/2015 – A living wage means a worker should receive a wage for a regular work week (before overtime) that is sufficient to afford a decent standard of living, for the area in which they live, for themselves and her or his family. Elements of a decent standard of living include food, water, housing, education, health care, transport, clothing and other essential needs, as well as provision for unexpected events.
Unfortunately across the world millions of workers are not receiving a wage that allows them even the most basic standard of living.
At UTZ we work with our farmers and supply chain actors towards the payment of a living wage, if it is not currently in place. Part of this work includes our participation in the Global Living Wage Coalition.
The Global Living Wage Coalition aims to develop living wage benchmarks based on a single methodology, as a critical step to enable industries to move towards paying a living wage.
The common methodology has been developed by Richard and Martha Anker, international specialists on living wages. Within the methodology the living wage is estimated by adding up: the cost of a basic nutritious diet that is appropriate for food preferences and development level of a country, the cost of decent housing in the area, plus other costs for essential needs. A small margin above the total cost is then added to help provide for unforeseen events such as illnesses and accidents to help ensure that these events do not easily throw workers into poverty. This total per capita cost is scaled up to arrive at the cost of a decent standard of living for a typical family and then divided over a typical number of full-time equivalent workers per household.
Using this methodology we have already published research on 4 countries – Kenya, Dominican Republic, South Africa and Malawi , and we are working to carry out research in all the countries in which we work.
As part of this research in mid-October a third global training on the Anker Methodology was given in Costa Rica with researchers from eight countries in attendance. The researchers in attendance will now be looking at the situation of worker wages in represented Costa Rica, Ecuador, India, Mexico, Nicaragua, Pakistan, Sri Lanka, and Vietnam.
UTZ is proud to be a founding member of the Global Living Wage Coalition, as we believe achieving a living wage is crucial in achieving our mission of better farming and a better future.
We will be publishing the reports as they become available – and you can read more about the Global Living Wage Coalition on ISEAL’s website.