Two Belgian retailers (Colruyt Group and Delhaize) and three Belgian branches of international retailers (Aldi, Jumbo and Lidl) will pay workers on banana plantations a living wage. In doing so, they are following similar initiatives by food retailers in the Netherlands and Germany.
Closing the wage gap
Bananas are one of the most popular fruits in the supermarket: Belgians eat an average of eight kilos a year. Yet workers on plantations in countries such as Colombia, Costa Rica and Ecuador usually do not earn enough to meet their basic needs. Five Belgian supermarket chains have now committed to closing that wage gap: by the end of 2027, workers in the banana chains must earn enough to provide their families with a decent standard of living.
The five retailers have signed an agreement to this effect at the Living Wage Summit on 8 December in Brussels. They will collaborate with existing living wage initiatives such as the Dutch Retail Commitment on Living Wages and the German Retailers Working Group on Living Wages and Living Income. The force behind the initiative is the international sustainability organisation IDH, which, among other things, provides a roadmap and calculates the living wage gap annually.