How to mainstream living income in your company’s activities


This is a guide for companies seeking to address poverty and economic viability with smallholder farmers in their supply chains. By using this guide, companies will be able to integrate living incomes into their sourcing practices and sustainability programmes. It provides an explanation of the three main rationales for companies to address the challenge of a living income – that of addressing decent livelihoods as part of basic human rights, of the opportunity to protect and build a positive reputation and of the need to ensure security of supply.

The guide is intended to provide resources and guidance to help practitioners adapt their explanation and case for working on a living income to the culture and needs of different departments and companies across the agricultural value chain (traders, brand manufactures and retailers). The guide provides context on living incomes, followed by steps companies can take to Make the Case, Prepare for Action, Take Action and Monitor Results of efforts to include a living income of smallholder farmers in their sourcing and sustainability practices. The Toolkit structure is also used on the resource site for more information by country on living income and living wage.

PowerPoint Slide Decks and Graphics have been created to accompany the Living Income Guide for Companies. The Guide Sections: Make the Case, Prepare for Action and Take Action & Monitor Results, have corresponding PowerPoint Slides. Please feel free to use these resources for your own purposes, while maintaining the crediting included. Ensure to check the notes section for outside sources.


​1. Make the Case

Make the Case provides the basic concept of a living income, including its relationship to a living wage. This section also provides a common business case for adopting a living income: protecting human rights, reputation and supply security. Included are company examples, industry platforms and SDGs that will help Make the Case for a living income strategy or program within your company.


2. Prepare for Action

​Prepare for Action offers the steps of materiality and traceability, before conducting a living income benchmark. The slides guide users through the steps of measuring actual incomes and assessing the gap between actual incomes and a living income benchmark.

3. Take Action & Monitor Results

​Take Action & Monitor Results provides top line guidance in creating a living income strategy, a suite of possible interventions and a guide to monitor and evaluate interventions.

The Toolkit structure is also used on the resource site for more information by country on living income and living wage.