Paris, July 27, 2023: Afruibana welcomes the actions announced made by Germany, the Netherlands, Belgium and Luxembourg in a joint declaration signed on June 1, 2023 to make global supply chains sustainable and strengthen responsible corporate conduct.
In the eyes of Afruibana and the producer countries it defends, this declaration is an important and constructive step in the discussions surrounding the notion of a « living » wage for at least two reasons.
A. The declaration gives a central place to institutional and social dialogues
The declaration recognises the importance of achieving « adequate minimum wages » in order to eradicate poverty, child labour and forced labour.
To this end, the 4 signatories :
B. The declaration confirms the key role on the ILO in determining cost of living indicators that could serve as a normative basis in the future
In the face of current unilateral initiatives, the declaration clearly supports the ILO as the multilateral institution with the expertise and legitimacy required to develop the indicators and methodologies needed to monitor changes in the cost of living for workers and their families in supply countries.
In this way, these indicators can better inform, without replacing it, social dialogue and could constitute a “normative basis” for future supply chain projects in favour of “adequate minimum” wages and incomes in developing countries. Our association supports this approach, which will also enable in-kind benefits to be better taken into account in total remuneration packages in the future.
Finally, the declaration reiterates that productivity growth must be one of the basic references for wage increases for workers in partner countries. This is an important econometric reminder and should encourage stakeholders to assess over time any discrepancies that may arise between these two essential factors.
In conclusion, the President of Afruibana, Mr Joseph Owona Kono, welcomed this clear, strong and forward-looking declaration, in which several EU Member States took a stance on the guiding principles that will make it possible to achieve the win-win partnership that developing countries aspire to on this issue:
« This joint declaration, while enshrining social dialogue and its local roots, demonstrates the sense of responsibility that drives consumer countries in the sustainable achievement of fair and satisfactory remuneration for workers in agricultural chains in producer countries. It therefore marks a decisive step on the road to “shared responsibility” (as defined by the World Banana Forum) and will inform and guide discussions with certifiers and major retailers on the conclusion of shared responsibility agreements, in the service of a fairer and more sustainable global economy. »