How to start your own Living Wage project

Insights from April 13th Lab session

On 13 April 2017 the Living Wage Lab organised its 7th Lab session at the Impact Hub in Amsterdam. The objective of this session was to get to know some of the projects Lab partners are undertaking in specific supply chains. To learn from their approach and lessons so far, and inspire others in the Lab on how to get started with a project.

Rainforest Alliance shared insights on the steps they have taken so far in starting a project in bananas produced in Belize and Ecuador, Fairtrade International informed us about steps they have taken in the cut flower industry in East Africa, and Fairfood shared their approach on coconuts from Indonesia.

Overall insights of the session on how you can get started were the following:

  • Your company or organisation should have the ambition to support living wages.
  • It is important to involve stakeholders in your project as early as possible. Stakeholder mapping is beneficial in this stage. Don’t forget to also involve employees and buyers.
  • In order to determine how big the living wage issue is, you should collect information on the living wage gap and inform yourself on how way wages are established
  • Gain insight in the leverage you have individually or together with your stakeholders to improve wages. Look into ways to collaborate with existing initiatives.
  • Agree upon a strategy or action plan to reach a living wage and start implementing. Try to keep it simple.
  • Share your project experiences (in the Living Wage Lab!), and learn from your own experiences and those of others to improve!
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