No escape from the poverty cycle
There’s no escaping the poverty cycle in the Moroccan tomato sector. Pickers earn around 5,60 euro a day. In order to earn a living wage they would have to earn three times as much.
Fairfood believes that European supermarkets have both the responsibility and power to ensure living wages to workers in their supply chains. We have entered into a dialogue with several European supermarkets that are selling Moroccan tomatoes picked by workers who are paid poverty wages, pressuring them to ensure that Moroccan tomato farmers get what they are entitled to: a fair pay that meets living wage standards. In September 2014, we published a report about the issues in the Moroccan tomato sector.
Besides that, we work closely together with the local Moroccan labour union Fédération Nationale du Secteur Agricole (FNSA). Fairfood supports FNSA in educating and training workers to improve working conditions and increase living wages through capacity development training. In return, the FNSA engages with the key tomato producing companies and the Moroccan government, and bargains and campaigns for higher living wages at the bottom of the supply chain in Morocco. This partnership enables us to legitimately express the general concerns of tomato workers with a specific focus upon wages and ensure longer-term impact and success beyond Fairfood’s involvement following the completion of the project. In the report Creating positive change for workers in global food chains we look back on the partnership after three years.