Lidl launches “living wage” bananas for the benefit of foreign workers

Lidl will be the first retailer in Germany to use Fairtrade’s living wage tools and pay an additional premium for the bananas they buy from the plantations. In doing so, the company is making a decisive contribution to ensuring that workers in the banana sector receive a living wage in the long term.

With that new commitment, Lidl will pay a so-called living wage differential, based on an independent living wage benchmark for each of the regions where they buy bananas grown on large farms – representing around 96 percent of all bananas on the shelves of Lidl.

Fairtrade calculates this differential as the part of the Living Wage Benchmark that companies would have to pay in order to fairly contribute to living wages for workers at the beginning of the supply chain.

Unlike a legal minimum wage, a living wage is a wage that covers the cost of basic necessities such as food, water, and shelter, as well as expenses for education, medical care, transportation, clothing and supplies for emergencies.

Lidl will pay the differential for Fairtrade-certified organic and conventional bananas, as well as bananas bearing the Rainforest Alliance label. According to Lidl, the additional costs incurred will not be passed on to consumers.


Michael A. Bynum