Living Income Guidance for Governments. Guidance for public policy makers
Fair Trade Advocacy Office team and all., August 2022
To download : PDF (3.6 MiB)
The Living Income Guidance for Governments was created for policy-makers interested in providing support to smallholder farmers in an effort to close the gap between actual incomes and a Living Income in agricultural value chains. The document provides considerations and guidance in relation to both production (supply-side) and consumption (demand-side) public policies.
Our aim is not to present any existing policy as a “best practice” or to be “copied and pasted” into other jurisdictions. More modestly, we hope this publication will provide food for thought and, perhaps, inspiration to public policy-makers around the world that wish to take action to ensure that all farmers, regardless of their position in a value chain, receive a Living Income.
Why is Living Income Relevant to International Public Policy Frameworks?
Living Income in global agricultural value chains is an essential element of numerous public policies at both production and consumption level, especially on development cooperation and transition to sustainable food systems. It is at the core of realising numerous Sustainable Development Goals such as No Poverty, Zero Hunger, Gender Equality, Decent Work and Economic Growth, Reduced Inequalities, Sustainable Production and Consumption, Climate Action and Partnerships for the Goals. Implementing Living Income policy will not only contribute to the achievement of these goals but also increase the chances of the long-term environmental, social, and economic sustainability of the measures introduced.
In June 2022, at the launch of the Living Income Guidance for Governments, the German Minister for Economic Cooperation and Development, Svenja Schulze, was clear saying:
“We [Europe] need to increase our efforts to achieve living incomes and living wages worldwide to prevent human rights violations such as child labour and inhuman working conditions […] that constitute modern slavery. Living incomes and living wages worldwide are a key factor in reducing poverty and food insecurity and they help secure decent living conditions.”
Assuring Living Incomes is a stepping stone in ensuring respect for human rights along global value chains, as well as in enabling producers to cope with the consequences of climate change and adjust production practices to limit them. Living Income as a link to the ability of a person to exercise their civil and political rights as enshrined in the Universal Declaration as well as the International Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. There is also a connection between the absence of Living Incomes and increased instances of forced labour and environmental destruction such as deforestation. The achievement of Living Incomes is quite simply at the core of a multitude of international development goals and public policy frameworks national governments all over the world have agreed to work towards.
But how can supply-side and demand-side public policies best support the achievement of Living Income in Agricultural Value Chains?