Sainsbury’s Invests In Living Wages For Banana Workers Ahead Of Commitment

By Dayeeta Das
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Sainsbury’s Invests In Living Wages For Banana Workers Ahead Of Commitment

UK retailer Sainsbury's has commenced the payment of living wages to banana workers, three years ahead of its commitment, the company said in a statement.

Last year, Sainsbury’s, along with nine other UK retailers pledged to pay a living wage by 2027 to banana growers and those working in plantations.

Diana Copper, UK country director at IDH said, “Sainsbury’s is making commendable steps towards getting more pay into the pockets of banana workers. We only started the UK Retail Commitment last year and perhaps the most critical part is responsible procurement practices and paying suppliers fairly.

“By paying the Fairtrade Living Wage Reference Price and committing to longer-term contracts, Sainsbury’s is addressing these key elements and showing that they are listening to their banana suppliers and producers. We have faith that more retailers will follow suit as the more retailers that embed similar solutions, the greater the impact will be on the workers’ wages.”

The move will see the retailer contributing towards a fairer wage and supporting banana growers in Cameroon, Colombia, the Dominican Republic and Ghana.


Since 2000, Sainsbury’s has invested over £75 million via Fairtrade in improving social infrastructure for banana-producing communities.

'Bestselling Fruit'

Ruth Cranston, Sainsbury’s director of corporate responsibility and sustainability, said, “Bananas are our bestselling fruit and by improving wages on this product we can positively impact the lives of thousands of people in the countries we source from.

“But we want every banana worker across the entire industry to benefit and we can’t do this alone, that’s why we’re urging other retailers to act now so that all workers can be paid fairly.”

For every box of bananas, the retailer is now paying the cost of the fruit, plus a premium that is invested into workers’ wages.


The additional money will be used to cover food, housing, education and healthcare costs for workers and their families.

The remainder of the premium goes towards environmental causes, such as helping banana growers implement sustainable farming practices, including carbon capturing, reducing water footprints, and improving biodiversity and soil health.

Sainsbury’s has also moved to four-year contracts to give its growers greater stability and financial security.

The company is collaborating with Fairtrade and banana supplier Fyffes to implement these initiatives.

Michael Gidney, CEO of the Fairtrade Foundation said, “Paying a living wage is central to sustainability, and this ground-breaking new commitment from Sainsbury’s comes after detailed consultations with producers, who have helped shape the partnership – in particular by securing multi-year contracts which is a huge step forward.”

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