– 10 March 2019
chocolate fans! Join our campaign to ensure that cocoa farmers are paid fairly
for their work and are able to live a dignified life. It’s easy to join in.
Read on to find out how.
She Deserves £1.86
£1.86 is the
amount a cocoa farmer in West Africa needs to earn each day in order to achieve
a living income. Currently, a typical cocoa farmer in Cote d’Ivoire lives
on around 74p a day. Almost all cocoa farmers in West Africa live in poverty.
women the situation is even worse. They may plant and harvest on the farm, look
after children, carry water, collect wood, cook and clean for the family, and
transport the cocoa beans to market but often with fewer rights than men.
This is why
we at Fairtrade are campaigning for a living income to become a reality for
cocoa farmers in West Africa. If we can work together with governments,
chocolate companies and retailers to make the commitments and policies
necessary, then we can make it happen.
What is a living income? A living income means enough
money to live a simple but dignified life, paying for essentials such as
clothing, medicine and school. We believe this is not a luxury but a human
In the UK, the national minimum wage in 2018
is set to £7.83 per hour. Daily life, however, is much more expensive than a
minimum wage can realistically cover.
People living on the minimum wage suffer
a shortfall equivalent to more than six months’ food and
drink bill for an average household or almost three months’ worth of average
Over 4,400 employers in the UK, including the
Fairtrade Foundation, have chosen to pay at least the ‘Living Wage’ as defined
by the Living Wage Foundation. The Living Wage is set at £8.75 or £10.20 for
Greater London. It’s an amount that lets people live with dignity, afford the
basics, the bills and to put away a little in savings.
What’s the difference: Living
Wage vs Living Income
A living wage is a salary paid by an employer
to a worker that covers a basic standard of life. A company who commits to
Fairtrade’s Textile Standards must work towards giving every cotton worker a
living wage within six years of starting the scheme.
But if you’re a smallholder farmer, there’s
no one to pay you a salary and there are a lot of other factors that come in to
play. That’s where the concept of a living income becomes useful.
A living income (defined by The Living Income
Community of Practice) is calculated as the net annual income needed for a
household to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that
household. That means you need to earn enough to eat nutritiously throughout
the year, drink safe water and access healthcare. This would also allow you to
send your children to school, live in a decent home, save for unexpected
setbacks and allow the elderly to retire with dignity.
Farmers’ income often comes from multiple
sources such as crop sales, farm business and remittances. To work out whether
a farmer achieves a decent living, all of these sources of money are combined
and checked against a living income benchmark price. Many of the farmers who
grow our food don’t come close to earning a living income. It’s clear that
there is a lot of work to do and many industry players to convince.
All farmers deserve to earn a decent living
and we are committed to making living income a reality. Find out more
about our living income campaign and what you can do to get