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An exiting outcome of the conference 'The Only Way is Up!' was the launch of ALIGN. ALIGN is a platform that gives access to existing resources on living wage and living income in an interactive and customised way. The portal is meant to be a guidance tool for agri-food companies aiming to reduce complexity around the topic, prioritising easy access and accountable information to build a strong understanding of living wages and income, and assessing risks in supply chains.

"ALIGN helps agri-food companies build intelligence, connect with key organisations and facilitates decision making through action."

A needs assessment conducted by True Price in the second half of 2018 among Dutch agri-food companies, showed that in order to stimulate and facilitate action in the field of living wage/living income, agri-food companies would benefit from having access to existing knowledge, good practices and potential partners. Hence, the relevance of ALIGN as an accountable guidance tool.

The platform has two main functionalities:

●     A source map where the user can access information on living wage/living income either per country or per commodity

●     An action process meant to be a step-by-step guide for companies approaching the theme of living wage/living income

The tool was initially developed for a few selected countries and commodities and will expand from there. These pre-selected countries are Costa Rica, Ghana, Kenya and Ethiopia, and the pre-selected commodities are bananas, cacao, flowers and coffee.

ALIGN is the result of an ongoing partnership between Hivos, Fairfood (as part of the Living Wage Lab project) and the Rainforest Alliance, with the support of the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development, implemented by GIZ.

The tool was launched during the conference 'The Only Way is Up!' in Rotterdam, the Netherlands on 5-6 November 2019. The conference gathered business, governments, civil society and certifiers to discuss living wage and living income in the agri-food sector. Fairfood and Hivos,the conveners of the Lab, were co-organisers of the conference together with five other parties.