A consumers’ favourite, bananas rank as a staple commodity on supermarket shelves worldwide.

Bananas are mainly sourced from Central American, South American, and West African countries, where data indicates workers are not always able to earn a living wage, thus afford a decent life for themselves and their families.

To catalyse systems change towards global banana supply chains where living wages are paid, IDH is committed to convening the private sector, their supply chain partners and other stakeholders to progress solutions. In this case, retailers and other stakeholders are utilising our Roadmap on Living Wages and corresponding tools to initiate action in creating more value for producers, through a shared responsibility across the entire supply chain.

The Roadmap supports the supply chain with:

  • A clear framework and tools to approach living wages
  • Calculating the living wage gaps that exist in their supply chains using the IDH Salary Matrix
  • Supporting value chain transparency, traceability and developing responsible purchasing practices
  • Exploring interventions that can help towards the payment of living wages and taking action to close the gap through the Living Wage Action Guide

Collaboration is key to maximise impact

Since 2018, IDH has brought together three national retail commitments, in The Netherlands, Belgium, and the UK. These commitments are focused on aligning retailers on a common goal to enable banana workers to receive a living wage. Read more about them here:

  • The Netherlands

    The Dutch Retailers’ ‘Living Wage Banana Commitment’ - launched in 2018 - currently covers 88% of the total volume of bananas bought by Dutch retailers, and aims to reach 100% by 2023.

    Read more
    The Netherlands
  • Belgium

    In 2022, five major retailers signed a commitment with the support of IDH and the Belgian Development Cooperation. The retailers agreed to close the living wage gap by the end of 2027 for their collective banana volumes sold on the Belgian market.

    Read more
  • UK

    In 2023, nine major retailers joined forces to commit to a living wage for banana workers in their international supply chains.

    Read more

Further, in 2020 in Germany, seven retailers united to create the German Retailers Working Group on Living Income and Wages, an effort coordinated by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ). The Working Group has set itself the goal that each member sources at least 50% of their total banana volumes for the German market as “Living Wage Bananas” by 2025. Read more here.



Retailer Commitment Timeline

Mid term evaluation - 2023

In 2023, IDH commissioned AidEnvironment to carry out an evaluation of the support we provide to companies working on living wages in the banana sector. Its purpose was “to evaluate observed changes regarding the progress achieved so far at the sector and field level in the banana trade, the contribution by IDH to these changes, and what IDH can do better to become more effective in the coming years.” The evaluation also supported the development of a methodology to monitor and evaluate the application of the Roadmap on Living Wages in other sectors within IDH. Read an executive summary of the report, and our response below.

For more information contact us: