Hivos established the Women @ Work (W@W) program with the aim of promoting decent work for women who earn their living in global horticultural production chains. The program enlists the participation of Southern partners spread over Eastern Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania and Ethiopia), with a consumer advocacy component, housed within Hivos headquarters in The Hague, aimed at promoting “ethical consumerism”, and proactive engagement with Northern governments. Women constitute the majority of horticultural sector workers. Gender dynamics make women more vulnerable to workplace violations. Working with a wide range of actors across the cut-flower value chains Hivos utilizes a multi-sectoral approach to influence corporate social responsibility to improve the livelihoods of women workers.
Since living wage is one of the topics within the W@W program, Hivos commissioned a research to True Price to build a business case which is useful for all actors in the supply chain and for the multi-sectoral approach of this topic. The study explores the business case for closing the living wage gap for flower workers using the following scope:
The study focuses on sweetheart roses grown at medium to large good practice rose farms in the Lake Naivasha area, where the majority (50-80%) of the Kenyan flowers are produced.
The sweetheart roses are sold in supermarkets in the Netherlands. Even for the certified flowers sold at these supermarkets the living wage is not being paid.
The supermarkets buy the roses through direct supply. They do not source their roses through the flower auction but through long term contracts directly from the grower. The sweetheart roses are sold in supermarkets in bouquets for an average retail price of €2.99. These bouquets contain an average of 15 sweetheart roses.