But some firms Unilever has a global reach. The consumer goods giant sells more than 400 brands in 190 countries and its products are used by 2.5 billion people.
Unilever said that a living wage should allow workers to break the cycle of poverty. He said, “It allows people to live a good standard of living to meet the basic needs of the family: including food, water, housing, education, health, transportation, clothing, and a provision for unforeseen events . ”
Preference will be given to countries in Africa and South America, and others that supply Unilever with key commodities such as India, Malaysia and Indonesia.
“It is important that this is done with complete transparency [and] “The living wage and living income targets they are setting independently in different parts of the world… and nothing unilever affects themselves or in any way,” he told CNN Business.
Unilever is currently required to pay its suppliers a legal minimum wage. Ingram said it would work with non-governmental organizations, suppliers, other businesses and governments for the countries where it works.
“The core of what we’re trying to do is make a change that’s systemic [and] It is enough that the ideal sector and governments are doing wages as a natural basis, ”Ingram said.
Cost of living wage
Asked if Unilever’s margin would be squeezed by its commitment to living wages, Ingram said there would be a cost to the company and its suppliers but would “be absorbed into the value chain”, and in some cases help suppliers. Will be covered by More productive.
For example, developing a sustainable agricultural system in poor countries can boost crop yields and increase farmers’ incomes. “We are not sure exactly what this difference and cost will be but what we are making sure is that the consumer will not pay more,” he said.
But Fairtrade International said price must be “integral to any living wage pledge” to avoid negative effects on producers and their workforce. “There is a correlation, for example, between very low wages in tea estates and consumer prices,” Wilbert Flenterman, senior adviser on workers’ rights and trade union relations, told CNN Business.
“Closing the living wage gap entirely will depend on commitment and collaboration between different actors across the supply chain – from producers to traders and retailers,” he said.