Worker with bananas on back loading a truck
March 2023

ALDI jointly with the German Retailers Working Group members publishes the first living wage gap report for Ecuadorian bananas

The German Retailers Working Group on Living Income and Living Wages presented a living wage analysis report of Ecuadorian banana plantation workers. This analysis will be used as the guideline to promote living wages and decent work in the future.

The 78 Ecuadorian farms who took part in this activity, represent 64% of the total Ecuadorian banana volumes purchased by the participating retailers for the German market. A total of 5,932 workers, including 812 female employees, were part of this analysis.

The report found that less than 1% of workers covered by the analysis earned below a living wage. For those workers, the average size of the living wage gap was 9.62%. Among the farms with workers earning below a living wage, a large variation in farm size and the number of employed workers was observed.

As a key learning, the Working Group identified several limitations driven by validating results through remote checks, such as that unpaid or excessive overtime of workers might not be revealed.

Throughout 2023, ALDI will therefore conduct further pilot projects with Fairtrade, Rainforest Alliance and related auditing bodies to gather insights on how to efficiently and effectively verify wage data as well as living wage payments. In addition, the pilots will generate further learnings on how retailers’ contributions affect the improvement of banana workers’ wages.

This joint effort brings ALDI closer to its commitment of sourcing at least 50% of its total banana volumes as “Living Wage Bananas” by 2025, while promoting actions towards human rights protection.

About the German Retailers Working Group on Living Income and Living Wages:

The ALDI SOUTH Group has been part of the German Retailers Working Group on Living Income and Living Wages since its establishment. In addition to ALDI SOUTH Group, the Working Group includes ALDI Nord, REWE Group, dm and Kaufland. It is coordinated by GIZ’s Initiative for Sustainable Agricultural Supply Chains (INA) and commissioned by BMZ, the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development. Conducting a living wage analysis is one of the milestones in the Working Group’s efforts to promote living wages and decent work in the banana sector. 

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