03. July 2020

Living incomes in global supply chains: a toolkit for companies

How can companies ensure that smallholders working in their supply chains earn enough to live in dignity? A new publication by GIZ and the Sustainable Food provides companies with the proper tools.

Coffee, chocolate, vanilla – smallholder farmers are at the base of many global supply chains. They operate four out of five farms worldwide. Without them, European supermarkets would be considerably emptier.

Yet despite their importance for global supply chains, many producers from the global south live in poverty. They are denied a dignified life and a secure existence. This is a problem – not just for the farmers themselves, but also for the companies procuring their products. Many of them have become aware of the matter and are trying to promote living incomes in their global supply chains.

To support them, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) and the Sustainable Food Lab have created an interactive toolkit. On 60 pages, it answers any questions companies may have concerning living income: How much money do Ghanaian smallholders need for a dignified life? What can be done to support them? And what’s in it for the company?

Detailed step-by-step guides cover every stage of a living income project, from first conceptionalisation to results monitoring. In addition, the toolkit provides an explanation of the three main rationales for companies to address the challenge of a living income. This helps practitioners adapt their explanation to the culture and needs of different departments and companies across the agricultural value chain. By using the guide, companies will be able to integrate living incomes into their sourcing practices and sustainability programmes.

The toolkit can be downloaded free of charge here.