Dutch retailers have committed to jointly work with IDH, the Sustainable Trade Initiative on a concrete five-year initiative on living wages in the banana sector.

Dutch supermarkets Albert Heijn, Boni, Boon, Coop, Deen, Hoogvliet, Jan Linders, Jumbo, Plus, Poiesz, Sligro, Spar, Superunie, Vomar, and the Dutch Food Retail Association (CBL) agreed to work towards living wages for banana workers in their international supply chains. Participating retailers are committed to increasing the availability of bananas produced by workers earning a living wage.

During the first phase, the private sector parties involved (producers, suppliers and retailers) develop insights into the gap between current wages and living wage benchmarks (i.e., the living wage gap). IDH’s Salary Matrix tool is used to achieve this objective.

In the first phase, 117 farms from five countries submitted their information on the Salary Matrix. These farms produce a total of 830.943 metric tons of bananas for their entire customer base. In total, Dutch retailers in the program purchase 7,6% of all bananas produced by the reporting farms. These farms represent 42% of the bananas purchased by participating retailers in 2019.

With the living wage gap for this portion of the banana supply chain determined, the group will take several steps, including rollout of the Salary Matrix to cover 100% of the banana assortment sold in the Dutch market, and further cooperation among retailers and supply chain partners to identify root causes and solutions to close the living wage gaps.