Fairfood is one of a number of NGOs that has been promoting the importance of a living wage (as opposed to a minimum wage) as a universal human right to ensure the workers who put food on our plate can live a dignified life and have enough money to provide for themselves and their families.
The Netherlands Enterprise Agency (Rijksdienst voor Ondernemend Nederland, RVO) has recently published its brochure ‘Paying a living wage: a guide for companies’, a guide for companies active in developing countries in which they define a living wage, promote its benefits for companies, such as building reputation and brand value and offer a step-by-step guide for determining and implementing a living wage. They also highlight some best practices, such as the top-up bonus of Swedish clothing company Nudie who ensure the bonus they offer actually ends up on workers’ payslips. The RVO also grants loans to SMEs that are active in developing countries through the Dutch Good Growth Fund.
In recent years, there has been a growing wave of support for the importance of a living wage among governments, companies and NGOs. Fairfood applauds the Dutch government for pushing this a step further with its brochure. Let’s all make sure a living wage is the norm not the exception.