New Hired Labour Standard for Fairtrade

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Fairtrade International has published a new Hired Labour Standard. This follows a long process of consultation – including 18 workshops in 14 countries with workers – and significant engagement with trade unions and labour rights organisations, with guidance and support from the Fairtrade’s Workers’ Rights Advisory Committee.

"Banana Link welcomes the inclusion of a Freedom of Association Protocol and a Right to Organise Guarantee, among other new elements, that strengthen Fairtrade’s standards for hired labour. Banana Link and our partners are pleased to have played a role in this process through our membership of the Workers’ Rights Advisory Committee (WRAC) of Fairtrade International. The new standard means that trade unions are now recognised as the best vehicle to empowering workers in the exercise of their rights." commented Alistair Smith, Banana Link's International Coordinator and representative on the WRAC.

Read more about how this new Standard guarantees the right of workers to freely organise and collectively bargain and gives workers more control over how to spend the Fairtrade premium. Fairtrade International is also introducing a new methodology to set living wage benchmarks and a clear process for plantations to progress towards a living wage.

As Wil Flinterman, Senior Advisor on Workers’ Rights and Trade Union Relations at Fairtrade International, notes however “Our work is far from over. This new Standard provides the support framework, and now we have to work hard to make sure workers have the capacity and the freedom to negotiate fairer workplaces. We will continue building partnerships with global union federations and local trade unions to engage workers; at the same time we will continue pushing for fairer prices, and a better distribution of value along the supply chain.”