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Fairtrade Premium vital in helping 'most vulnerable' workers in global trade

In addition to paying fair prices for their produce or labor, Fairtrade farmers and workers benefit from an additional sum called the Fairtrade Premium. This money can be used on business or community-focused projects of their choice.

A recent study conducted using FairVoice technology and mobile phones has demonstrated how investments made through Fairtrade certification can help close the living wage gap and create an environment for providing strong livelihoods.

Nine major retailers in the UK – Aldi, Asda, Co-op, Lidl GB, Marks and Spencer, Morrisons, Sainsbury’s, Tesco, Waitrose – have teamed up with sustainable trade organisation IDH to implement a collective goal of closing the living wage gap among banana workers in international supply chains by 2027.

It is expected that this commitment will aid these workers in earning competitive wages as they contribute to global productivity.

The research conducted by Fairtrade revealed that the Fairtrade Premium has been a great help to Ghanaian workers. It's been used to cover food costs in cafeterias, build schools and health care centers, buy vehicles, and provide access to interest-free loans - amounting to $75 per employee per month.

This is significantly lower than the regional living wage benchmark of $257/month, but it still adds up as 66% of workers are using these cash payments for their basic needs.

In Colombia, where the living wage benchmark is higher at $455/month, banana workers are receiving additional benefits equivalent to $88.60/month. This is thanks, in large part, to the Fairtrade Foundation’s efforts in advocating for better wages for vulnerable workers in the global trade industry who often lack adequate protections against exploitation by employers.

“The need for a living wage has always been pressing in the banana sector because workers are among the most vulnerable people in global trade,” the Fairtrade Foundation explained.


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