- Retailers Working Group
Fairtrade Global Awards: Award for German Retailers’ Working Group
The German Retailers' Working Group on Living Wages was awarded in the category "Fairtrade Living Wage Leader" at the Fairtrade Global Awards and Business Summit in Nairobi on 4 October for its commitment to Living Wages in the banana sector.
The joy was immense when the winners in the Fairtrade Living Wage Leader category were announced at the Fairtrade Global Awards ceremony on the evening of 4 October. The minutes beforehand were cutting: But then the German retail sector's working group on living incomes and wages was called. In the hall as well as worldwide at the computers, the (imaginary) champagne corks popped!
On behalf of the working group, which includes ALDI Nord, ALDI Süd, dm-drogerie markt, Kaufland and REWE Group, Bodo Immink, Country Director of the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH in Kenya, accepted the award: "I am very pleased that the pioneering work of the German retail sector, the BMZ and the GIZ is being honoured by this important award," said Immink after the award ceremony. "Fair payment is a human right. Many people along global supply chains are still unable to make a dignified living from their wages. It is therefore extremely important that supply chain actors work together to achieve such systemic change," Bodo Immink continued.
The jury justified its decision by saying that the initiative of the German retail sector is an important milestone for the private and public sectors to work together to secure a living wage for workers. The journey is far from over, but already the working group is generating valuable learning experiences for ambitious solutions through pilot projects on banana farms and a focus on responsible sourcing practices. The group's efforts to strengthen social dialogue and good labour are also important steps towards the common goal.
The German Retailers’ Working Group on Living Wages initially focused its work on the banana supply chain and started implementation in Ecuador, the most important export country for bananas. Since mid-2023, the project has also been implemented in Costa Rica and Colombia with initial activities. In addition, a second project of the working group to promote living incomes in the coffee supply chain also started this year with the pilot countries Peru and Honduras.