A multi-stakeholder learning exchange on measurement and strategies for action
30th January - 1st February 2019
Following tremendous momentum to address poverty in smallholder farming communities, this workshop built on previous events and stimulated dialogue, collaboration and action towards addressing global poverty challenges through the concept of Living Income. The event had 3 main goals:1) promote alignment on best practices of measuring living income benchmarks, actual incomes and the gap between them; 2) exchange learning on strategy effectiveness to close income gaps; and 3) support exchange between sectors working on farmer income.
Workshop session resources
Day 1: Measurement to inform action
Introduction to the Living Income Community of Practice and work to date on measurement
This session introduced the objectives and main work areas of the Living Income CoP, framed how the workshop contributed to our overall aims, and explain how the agenda fit into the CoP’s objectives on measurement of actual incomes and living income benchmarks. It also reviewed key concepts and definitions.
Calculating living Income benchmarks – what we have learned and where we are going
A review what we have learned about applying the Anker methodology and aligning around living income benchmarks in tea and cocoa; drawing on lessons from living wage benchmarks. The components and value of the methodology were also explored.
Comparing actual incomes to living income benchmarks: exploring methodological questions
Experience with and issues arising with comparing actual income to living income benchmarks, based on the West Africa cocoa and East Africa coffee experience. This session was also used to consider how the community of practice can create guidance on comparing actual incomes with living income benchmarks. It was discussed that alignment on key principles for income measurement would be useful to support actors in their efforts.
Measuring and monitoring income change and setting income targets
This session dove into the experiences of CoP participants in measuring and monitoring income change and setting income targets. It provided an overview of various approaches to frame the discussion and then participants had an opportunity to learn more about one of the three experiences presented.
Living Wage & Living Income: what are the common challenges and differences?
This session identified commonalities in challenges in relation to living wage and living income and how our communities can help or work together in solving those. It explored 1) in what ways are organisations working on living wage and/or living income and why are both important; 2) what are the common challenges in working on living wage / income issues? and 3) how could our communities help / work together in solving those?
Day 2: Using benchmarks to drive sector change – Roles and strategies
Framing the challenge and the approaches moving forward
This session drew on on recent research from the Mars Farmer Income Lab and the Living Income CoP to propose a framework for the day to track the interrelationships of strategies to improve farmer incomes. This session highlighted that there is no silver bullet to increasing incomes however achieving income improvements requires learning from other's experiences in trying to do so.
Pricing and Trading models
This session highlighted different approaches to pricing to improve farmer income and income security, and engaged participants in questions of which programs can scale and where are the opportunities and challenges around tackling pricing and trading models.
Affordable Finance for Smallholders
This session explored how to increase the access to affordable finance to smallholders and how to couple loans with technical assistance. It focused on how data on smallholder segmentation and needs can be used to create and implement appropriate financial products or services for smallholders to help them to improve their incomes.
The strategies and roles of government actors
In this session we took the opportunity to have a specific conversation around government engagement in Living Income from consumer and producer country governments; focusing on cocoa and beyond. The panel included representation from the Dutch, German, Belgian and Ivorian governments who divulged relevant strategies, initiatives and partnerships to drive income improvements for smallholders.
Income diversification - why do we need it to close income gaps and how can it be done well?
This session explored how to implement professional diversification using examples from the vanilla, coffee and cocoa sectors. What is needed at the cooperative level? What’s needed at farm services level? Discussions were had around the challenges of maintaining investment in secondary crop growth in primary crop boom periods, however the importance of diversification and identifying viable co-productive crops was emphasised to support the resiliency of smallholder incomes.
Living Wage and Living Income, Malawi 2020 Tea initiative
In this session, we received an update on sector wide collaborative action from tea in Malawi 2020. The initiative shared some of their greatest challenges as well as some of the joint solutions that were devised to push the initiative forward.
In this part of the event, breakouts were held to discuss in further detail the work planned and being done in the Cocoa, Tea and Coffee sectors to improve farmer incomes. The cocoa sector breakout focused on the Cocoa Living Income Task Force, the Tea breakout a continuation of the conversation with the Malawi 2020 stakeholders and the introduction of a pricing tool that was developed to encourage the payment of living wages and incomes for tea and beyond, and the coffee session an initial discussion on the economic viability on the payment of Living Income.
Living Income Activity Dashboard
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