Ensuring that people earn a living wage is a critical step towards building a more equitable and inclusive society. It allows people to afford a decent standard of living, covering their basic needs such as food, housing and healthcare.
We already pay our employees at least a living wage. Now we want to secure the same for more people beyond our workforce, specifically focusing on the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture. We’ll work with our suppliers, other businesses, governments and NGOs to create system-wide change and encourage the global adoption of living wage practices.
As Gabriela Bucher, Executive Director at Oxfam International, says: “Unilever’s plan shows the kind of responsible action needed from the private sector that can have a great impact on tackling inequality, and help build a world in which everyone has the power to thrive, not just survive.”
At the same time, we will help 5 million small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in our retail value chain access skills, finance and technology to grow their business and their income. The SMEs we work with are often retailers who run independent stores, outlets and kiosks, or micro-entrepreneurs making sales in the streets or house-to-house.