Empowering all supply chain actors to self-assess living wage gaps

Introducing Salary Matrix V.2

IDH has published an improved version of its Salary Matrix tool with a suite of updates that now enables companies across every sector to measure worker renumeration and take action against deficits with living wage benchmarks.

The updated Salary Matrix V.2, in accessible Excel format, is the result of extended pilot tests and a public consultation process to refine the original tool, as part of IDH’s Roadmap on Living Wages, which began in May 2019.

Among new improvements, the IDH Salary Matrix V.2 now offers:

  • Inclusion of per-employee data to reduce time spent grouping individuals into job categories.
  • Up to four production seasons to better reflect reality during a production year.
  • Analysis of gender-specific results.
  • Automated calculation of production units based on monthly or daily payments.
  • A locally determined work week when below 48 hours.
  • Extended guidance and examples of permitted bonuses and in-kind benefits based on recommendations from the Anker Methodology (2017).

An accompanying publication describes the main functionality of IDH Salary Matrix V.2, including technical details of what is needed to assess the living wage gaps and a glossary of useful definitions. IDH and its partners expect to work on the digitalization of this tool to make it available in other user-friendly formats during the fall of 2020.

We see a variety of key stakeholders trying to understand and address living wages. The companies among them need a solid, transparent, and practical tool in order to be able to progress with this complex matter. The Salary Matrix is very helpful and a step in the right direction

added Veronika Pountcheva, Global Director of Corporate Responsibility at Metro, and a member of the Steering Committee of the Roadmap on Living Wages.

IDH Salary Matrix

Salary Matrix put in practice

Between September 2019 and January 2020, with support from organizations including Fairtrade and Rainforest Alliance, new testing pilots took place in 11 countries, across the tea, banana, coffee, pineapple, and flower sectors. Valuable feedback was also collected from private sector partners, certification bodies, and others, to better understand how salaries, bonuses, and benefits are calculated, and how this total remuneration compares with the recommended living wage

All suggested recommendations were included and information informing improvements was reviewed by the Roadmap’s Technical Advisory Committee and its Steering Committee in early March 2020.

We are grateful to all the users of the Salary Matrix who provided feedback, as well as the companies, certification programs, and other organizations involved in our Roadmap on Living Wages for helping us land on an improved version of this tool that we are sure will benefit many more users

said Sonia Cordera, IDH’s Deputy Director for Fresh & Ingredients.

The original Salary Matrix V.1 was developed by IDH and Rainforest Alliance in 2018 as part of the project ‘Next Steps in Sustainability: Measuring Impact and Assessing Living Wages’, based on data from seven volunteer pilot farms.

To date, over 500 users have downloaded the tool, and IDH has directly supported piloting with more than 30 companies.

IDH Salary Matrix

Watch our Living Wage Webinar

Want to know more? IDH hosted a webinar on the Salary Matrix V.2, you can now watch to the recordings here


  • IDH approach to closing the living wage gap
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