Party time: 2 years Living Wage Lab

Two years ago Fairfood launched the Living Wage Lab, together with partner Hivos. In the Living Wage Lab stakeholders from the foodsector come together to find solutions to achieve living wages in their supply chains. How we do this, you can read in this interview with Anna Lentink (Fairfood) and Kristina Ullrich (Hivos).

The awareness of living wages has, without doubt, increased among a wide range of stakeholders in the past few years. Achieving real change has, however, proved to be a difficult job. Low wages are a persistent problem in many global value chains, and cannot be solved by individual companies alone. Hivos and Fairfood decided to bring together Netherlands- based stakeholders to develop and experiment with innovative ways to realise decent wages. Why did they choose this specific Lab approach?

‘For Hivos, a living wage has been a top priority for some years’, says Kristina Ullrich, who works at the NGO as private sector advocacy officer. ‘We’ve asked True Price to develop a business case for a living wage in the Kenyan flower sector, for growers and retail. When we noticed that Fairfood was busy with the same theme, focusing on food, we decided to collaborate. Originally, we thought of a think tank with stakeholders to consider solutions to realise a living wage in the agri-food sector. We had doubts as to whether this would work, because it would involve too much talk and not enough action. We mainly wanted to bring stakeholders together to really do something, and so the idea of the Lab came about. That offers the space to try things out.’

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