Fairtrade has introduced the Fairtrade Base Wage for banana plantations, which came into effect on 1 July, as well as the Living Wage Differential.
The new Fairtrade Base Wage would increase the take-home pay of banana workers by up to 15%, according to Fairtrade International, representing a major step toward a living wage for thousands of banana plantation workers across the world.
The Fairtrade Base Wage is set at 70% of the take-home pay needed for a living wage, as established by the independent Global Living Wage Coalition.
According to a press release from Fairtrade International:
“Every Fairtrade banana plantation worker will now get at least the base wage, even if the legal minimum wage is lower. In origins where workers currently earn less than the Fairtrade Base Wage, such as West Africa and the Dominican Republic, wages are estimated to increase by up to 15 per cent. More than 12,000 workers are set to benefit – that is around half of the total number of workers on Fairtrade certified banana plantations worldwide. In countries where workers already receive more, their wages can’t be lowered.”
Minel Bellamy, a banana worker and chair of the Fairtrade Worker Network in the Dominican Republic, said:
“Fairtrade has realised that the minimum wage which we workers currently receive is not enough to cover basic family needs, and thanks to this new fairer wage, we and our families will be able to feed ourselves better and we migrants will be able to send some resources to our families in Haiti.”