Last year, Eosta introduced the first Living Wage product (mango) and in April this year the Living Wage avocado was launched. Two months on, 100,000 4kg boxes have already been sold. As hoped, the initiative has also been supported by major retailers all over Europe, including Dennree in Germany and ICA in Sweden. For every kilo of avocados sold, Eosta puts 2 euro cents towards a Living Wage (a new income standard) for the supplier’s Kenyan workers.
Gert-Jan Lieffering, Quality Development Manager at Eosta, prefers to call them ‘All inclusive avocados’, the Kenyan avocados from Anthony Ngugi that Eosta sells with a Living Wage premium as standard. The avocados are a driving force of Eosta’s ‘Leave no one behind’ policy that focuses on social inclusion. With this, Eosta incorporates the social petals of the Sustainability Flower, in addition to the other ecological and health aspects that are represented in various campaigns. In doing so, Eosta are working towards their overall mission: healthy, fair, organic.
Companies can no longer get away with exploitation
Eosta expects that demand for Living Wage products will continue to grow and that supermarkets will promote them more. Volkert Engelsman, CEO of Eosta, says: “Companies can no longer get away with exploiting workers in far-off countries. As we speak, Germany has draft legislation ready that will force companies to purchase in a socially responsible way. In the Netherlands, we support professor Jaap Winter’s initiative to make corporate social responsibility legally binding. And the EU is working on a Corporate Sustainability Reporting Directive that will require companies to report on their sustainability impact from 2023. But why wait for that? The world needs Living Wages right now.”
About the Living Wage
Living Wage is a new phenomenon in the international food trade and sets the bar for fair wages that are much higher than what has been customary until now. With social certifications like GRASP, the minimum wage is the benchmark to guarantee a fair income, but in many countries that means a subsistence minimum that only perpetuates poverty. The Living Wage is higher because it also takes into account the cost of education, healthcare and some savings to fall back on. This makes structural improvement a reality in the long term.
Eosta, with Nature & More as its consumer brand and transparency system, is Europe’s most awarded distributor of organic fruit and vegetables. Eosta is known for its sustainability campaigns such as Living Wage, True Cost of Food and Dr. Goodfood. In 2018, the company won the King William I Plaque for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and in 2019 the European Business Award for the Environment. See also www.eosta.com and www.natureandmore.com.