RSPO – Living wages in palm oil sector


The Roundtable on Sustainable Palm Oil (RSPO) is a certification organization uniting oil palm stakeholders to further the sector towards sustainability. To ensure that standards remain relevant and reflect stakeholders’ understanding of good sustainability practices, RSPO has recently decided to take a more active stance in the trend around living wages.

Project description

The RSPO & Living Wage Project was an effort to contribute to multi-sectoral living wage method harmonization, while making sure that the palm oil sector was consulted and comprehends the living wage method including its challenges and opportunities for implementation. It built onto the existing efforts undertaken by the GLWC. The results of this project were be the following:

  1. A palm oil living wage definition
  2. Method and sample calculations for four countries
  3. Best practices, challenges, and opportunities emerging from a review of case studies

Impact Institute* maintained a multi-stakeholder approach to ensure that businesses get the time and information to determine what role living wage can play for them. This approach also enabled laborers to be involved in the development of the living wage process and ensured negotiated conventions were sufficiently addressed. Moreover, this consultative process allowed Impact Institute to ensure that the application of the living wage definition and method were realistic estimates of local living costs.

Benefits to the client

This project provided RSPO with a reasoned strategy for implementation of living wage in the palm oil sector, including clear definitions of living wage elements, and taking into account the capabilities of RSPO constituency, palm oil specific working conditions, as well as varying national laws and local conditions.

* The customer was working with Impact Institute under its former name, True Price

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