On our way to a Living Wage

For many years, we have been doing business with Zongo Adama of Fruiteq in Burkina Faso. His sweet, juicy organic mangoes are not only good for your health, they also support the livelihoods of 200 people in Burkina Faso. If you buy these mangoes, you join us on our journey to support better income for workers that worked the field and packed the fruit. Our Living Wage assessment shows that it will cost 10 eurocents per kg of fruit to increase wages to Living Wage level

Burkina Faso is a low income, landlocked Sub-Saharan African country with limited natural resources. The economy is heavily reliant on agriculture, with close to 80% of the active population employed in the sector.

Fruiteq was the first mango exporter in Burkina Faso, starting in 2002. Director Adama Zongo is the driving force behind this company, which aims to contribute to the development of people in Burkina Faso. Jobs are scarce in Burkina Faso and local people are eager to work for Fruiteq.

The company has done an outstanding job on creating a safe and healthy working environment for its workers. Together with Fruiteq, Eosta now takes social compliance a step further by starting to work towards a Living Wage. 

A ground-breaking report

In the beginning of 2020 we assessed the Living Wage gap at Fruiteq. We collected data for each category of workers: farm workers, harvest workers, people working in the packing house and office personnel. If you want to read the full assessment report, you can find it HERE: [link]

Summary of results

In the infographs below you find the results. We also show the legal minimum wage and the official Poverty Line, as determined by the World Bank. Above the Poverty Line a person in Burkina Faso is considered to have a lower middle income. In 2018, 38% of the population was still below this threshold.

 

 

The Living Wage gap: 10 eurocents per kg of fruit

Below you can see how we calculated the Living Wage gap. To close the gap for all workers, an approximate amount of 82,000 Euro would be needed. Nature & More’s mango trade volume is approximately 840,000 kg per season. Therefore, the True Cost of the Living Wage gap per kg of fresh fruit is 0.10 Euro.

 

 

How to realise Living Wages at Fruiteq

Most Fruiteq workers are hired on a daily basis and many of them are hired through subcontractors or “pisteurs”. This is common practice in the Burkina Faso mango industry. Most of the employees only work during the mango season, which lasts a few months. Therefore, creative strategies need to be devised to make Living Wages for all workers possible. It’s important to also develop structural income outside the mango season. Part of the strategy will be to create access to micro-finance services so people can develop their own businesses.

Let’s do this together

Eosta / Nature & More offers its customers the opportunity to buy Living Wage-inclusive mangoes. The mango will have a premium of 0.10 EUR/Kg, equal to the gap calculated in our assessment.

At the end of the season, the collected premium will be transferred to Fruiteq and a strategy will be formulated to invest the premium in long-term benefits and structural wage increase for the workers.

We will report yearly on invested amount, progress and wage increases. 

 

*The benchmark we determined is based on data of the Wage Indicator Foundation. We did adjust the final level based on own findings and discussion with local partners in Burkina Faso.

You are here

Find the full report HERE.

Learn more about your grower HERE! 

CLOSING THE LIVING WAGE GAP

The price of mangos should reflect the true social cost including the assurance of a living wage.

LIVING WAGE BENCHMARKING

The Anker methodology is a very reliable and thorough method to determine Living Wage benchmarks. These benchmarks however are not yet available for all countries and regions. Dutch NGO IDH is currently coordinating an international initiative to set standards for the reliability of different calculation methods. As this work progresses, we will take efforts to implement this in our calculatins. Where not, we will report it. For the project in Burkina Faso this is not yet the case.

The Sustainability Flower

The Sustainability Flower is the core of our business. Every Nature & More grower has a personal Sustainability Flower. It points the way to a greener and more social economy. More info here.