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'an important step within our industry towards “Living Wages”'
Selecta one, Wagagai Flower farm initiate new role model of trading fair poinsettias
Torsten Mundus of Selecta one and Darío Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International
In Uganda as well as in other developing countries, basic wages in agriculture are well below what would be considered a living wage. Pay is insufficient to allow workers and their families meet their essential needs and afford them a decent standard of living. The absence of a minimum wage in Uganda compounds the problem. Besides that, wages cannot keep up with the rate of price increase. As a consequence people loose purchasing power. In addition many public services like schools are charged in developing countries. Often people do not have enough cash to send their children to secondary school.
So called „Living Wages“ are therefore extremely important to sustain the livelihoods of the lowest income earners in labour organizations, mainly workers.
On the occasion of the "Fairtrade Fortnight", September 15 – 29, Selecta one and its cutting farm Wagagai Ltd. launched a project with Fairtrade to improve the wages of the employees: both partners will in the future refrain from placing certification costs and marketing costs of the poinsettias on the selling price. By adding just a few cents to the price of the fairly traded cuttings a significant bonus can be generated on the back of the volume of Fairtrade sales. The bonus flows directly into Fairtrade bonus fund for the workers. This is true not only for 2017, but for every poinsettia season. Quite aptly, this collaboration between Fairtrade, Wagagai and Selecta One is called the Wagagai Cents project.
Per Klemm, CEO, co-shareholder of Selecta one: „With this decision we are able to transfer already in 2017 about 45,000 Euro in addition to the Fairtrade premium to our cutting farm in Uganda. This sum will be solely used for the benefit of Wagagais staff. We are happy to have taken that decision within the context of the Fairtrade Fortnight in order to further contribute to alleviate poverty in this part of our world.“
And Olav Boenders, Director, shareholder of Wagagai Farm adds: „Following the standards of Fairtrade the agreed premium will be submitted to the Fairtrade committee fund, who will decide democratically for which social project it will be used for. With almost additional 45.000 Euro we are happy to pay out a full monthly salary extra to each worker as an extra Fairtrade bonus. From this about 1000 workers and their families will benefit“.
“The Fairtrade premium is an important tool for implementing projects that benefit the community. Low wages remain a challenge to the individual development of workers and their families. That is why we applaud this innovative project of Selecta one and Wagagai to take a further step toward a living wage for these workers and inspire others in the industry to join in“ completes Darío Soto Abril, CEO of Fairtrade International.
Fairtrade International is committed to assist implementing „Living Wages“ also on other farms in Africa, Latin America and Asia. The essential driver to succeed remains the demand though. As more consumers buy Fairtrade plants in our part of the world, people in Africa and elsewhere are able to decide on the own future.
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