Paying workers and farmers fairly for a decent standard of living

A decent standard of living is a human right. Paying living wages to workers and living income to farmers means they can have a decent standard of living, and makes sure they don’t work in poverty.

It can help mitigate other human rights issues too, like forced or child labour. Fairly paid workers are an integral part of a profitable, sustainable and resilient business.

What is a living wage?

In line with the International Labour Organization (ILO) Constitution and the Philadelphia Declaration, and consistent with the spirit of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR), the ILO denotes that the concept of the living wage is:

“The wage level that is necessary to afford a decent standard of living for workers and their families, taking into account the country circumstances and calculated for the work performed during normal hours.”

What is a living income?

According to The Living Income Community of Practice it is:

“The net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household.”

Photo of gloved hands sorting through onions on a factory conveyor belt A photo of a fisherman on a commercial fishing boat.

We set out clear objectives for members to work towards paying a living wage in our statement of engagement on Living Wage. And we provide support, strategy and guidance to help members achieve those objectives.

The statement was based on the pioneering work already done by other organisations working on the living wage gap, like The Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) RoadmapBusiness for Inclusive Growth (B4IG), United Nations Global Compact (UNGC), the UK Living Wage Foundation, and Living Wage for US.

Our Living wage playbook helps our members and other FMCG companies build living wages into their supply chains. It brings together published case studies and available resources and offers practical advice for wherever a business is in its journey to implementing a living wage.

And as part of our focus, we work with suppliers to better understand their needs.

“By recognising the importance of, and working towards, living wages in workplaces and supply chains, AIM-Progress's members are contributing towards decent global working conditions.”

Rachel Cowburn-Walden Global Head of Sustainability (Human RIghts), Unilever
Working Group

The Living Wage and Income Working Group

This group provides an important platform for sharing, learning and developing best practices in a pre-competitive environment. It also promotes internal discussion and collaboration, and better engagement with suppliers. The group’s objectives are to:

  • support members to implement existing living wage and income commitments
  • increase the number of members with commitments in their own operations and supply chains
  • make links between purchasing practices and living wages and income
  • roll out living wage and income projects
  • leverage existing frameworks, guidance and content