On making a living income come true
Results of a research project on living income in organic farming and fair trade in Burundi
Ann-Kristin Schmidt, Naturland e.V.
What do you expect from your wage or income? Probably, that it allows you to afford decent housing, nutritious food, the medical support you need, to invest in your own or your children’s education and – in the best case – to build reserve assets for your future and times of crises. However, especially in underprivileged regions, there is a gap between a so-called living income and the actual household income. Naturland Fair wants to reduce it: A study with the Burundian union of coffee cooperatives COCOCA reveals promising levers on the ‘how’.
Fair trade has high ambitions: to foster decent living conditions for all stakeholders along global supply chains by long-term trading under fair standards. The reality is that this goal sometimes cannot be reached or proved due to a lack of data collection and analysis.
Therefore, Naturland Fair implemented a one-year-research project on "Living Income: Sufficient family income through agroforestry systems, fair trade and organic farming in Burundi" together with the University of Burundi and the Rottenburg University of Applied Forest Sciences. The aim is to think food security and living income in disadvantaged regions together. Therefore, different factors contributing to closing the gap between real and living family income in typical rural poverty regions were identified. They help to envision new fair-trade strategies for Naturland with partners. The research was based on data of Naturland Fair certified members worldwide, international fair trade literature as well as data and concepts circulated in the “Living Income Community of Practice” for measuring living income.
Audace Niyonzima laid the foundations for an exemplary region by explaining the high importance of subsistence and crop agriculture and coffee export for Burundi.
Some facts and figures about agriculture in Burundi:
Ann-Kristin Schmidt is specialist for Naturland Fair and focuses on innovation projects and networking activities in the field of fair trade and social responsibility. Moreover, she is responsible for social and community-supported agriculture at Naturland.
More information about the project can be found here: https://www.naturland.de/en/producers/projects/research-network/living-income.html
Other useful link: https://www.living-income.com/