A real Living Wage thanks to organic Nature & More avocados
Phyllis Mugo (40), a single mother of four children, works in the warehouse of Mavuno in Nairobi, where she packs avocados into boxes. She lives in a single-room house with her four children and feels that she is neither prosperous nor poor. Her wage enables her to pay her rent, food bill and school fees, but then there is very little left over. However, since this Spring she has had two new dreams: opening a grocery store and buying a plot of land where she can build her own home. This is because she recently started receiving a real Living Wage.
Anthony Ngugi’s 83 warehouse employees have all received a real Living Wage since March 2022, the start of the avocado season, thanks to retailers and consumers in Europe who purchase the organic Living Wage avocados of Nature & More. A Living Wage is a wage that enables breadwinners to provide a dignified life for their family. It is significantly higher than a minimum wage, which supports little more than survival.
Gert-Jan Lieffering, Q&D manager at Eosta, regards Living Wages as one of the most important steps towards social sustainability because it tackles an entire trio of problems. “A Living Wage ensures that not only the basic requirements such as food and shelter are met, but also makes education and healthcare possible, and gives people the option to make substantial improvements in their lives. This creates social stability and has an effect that permeates society.”
People’s lives are changed with 2 cents per kilo of avocados
In principle, all Eosta customers participate. Eosta saves 2 Euro cents per kilogram of avocado’s sold, which is then used to bridge the gap to the Living Wage. The wage gap of the upcoming year is bridged with the money saved from the previous year and is paid as a bonus in addition to the normal wage. This makes Anthony’s avocados the first Living Wage avocados in the world, which is totally new in the fruit and vegetable trading sector.
Not 1300 litres, but 0 litres of water
These organic avocados are not only social, but also ecologically sustainable. This is why we call them “all-inclusive.” In the first place, Anthony’s avocados have a Blue Water footprint of zero. And this is while the average avocado has an average water footprint of 1300 litres, as recently calculated by the RIVM (Dutch National Institute for Public Health and the Environment). The Kenyan avocados are cultivated with rainwater. There are two annual rainy seasons, and the soil has a high water retention capacity due to Mavuno’s organic cultivation method, which means that irrigation water is not required.
No pesticides, just agroforestry
These are also first-class avocados from the perspective of biodiversity and the climate. They are grown by small holder growers in a varied agroforestry environment. So, no monocultures, pesticides and artificial fertiliser, but a wealth of biodiversity. They are shipped to the Netherlands by sea, which produces a low level of emissions for transport per kilogram.
Ready to eat
Besides this, they are also delicious Hass avocados. Eosta now has a state-of-the-art Aweta machine that can accurately select avocados on the basis of ripeness and quality so that store shelves contain only the best possible quality.
- Living Wage avocados, Kenya
- Living Wage mangoes, Burkina Faso
- Anthony’s company: code 305 on www.natureandmore.com
- Nature & More Living Wage website: https://www.livingwage.eu/nl/living-wage-avocados
Eosta, with Nature & More as consumer brand and transparency system, is Europe’s most award-winning distributor of organic fruit and vegetables. Eosta is well known for its sustainability campaigns such as Living Wages, True Cost of Food and Dr. Goodfood. In 2018, the company won the King William I award for Sustainable Entrepreneurship and the European Business Award for the Environment in 2019. See also www.eosta.com and www.natureandmore.com.
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Monique Mooij, Marketing Coordinator
Telephone: 0180 63 55 500