Analysis and needs assessment for practical solutions to close living wage gap on banana farms

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Rainforest Alliance

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Tuluá, Colombia

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10 days ago

Request for Proposals

Consultancy for Rainforest Alliance

Rainforest Alliance is inviting proposals for a situation analysis and needs assessment that will serve as the basis for practical solutions to close the living wage gap on 13 banana farms in Costa Rica, Belize and Colombia

Summary Information

  • Department: Markets Transformation
  • Commitment: estimated Level of effort: 50-60 days
  • Desired start date and duration: 15 June – 30 November 2022
  • Under direction of: Team Manager Fruits – Latin America

Consultancy Summary

About the Rainforest Alliance

The Rainforest Alliance is creating a more sustainable world by using social and market forces to protect nature and improve the lives of farmers and forest communities.

We work towards making responsible business the new normal through our certification program, tailored supply chain services, landscape and community work and advocacy.

Background / overview

Dutch retailers have joined forces to ensure a living wage for banana workers and are committed to reduce the gap between the prevailing wages and living wage benchmarks by at least 75% until 2026. The Dutch retailers collaborate with Europe's leading banana importer, Fyffes, IDH (The Dutch Sustainable Trade Initiative) and the Rainforest Alliance.

This situation analysis and needs assessment is part of a project to enable these retailers to deliver on their commitment to reduce the living wage gap in their banana supply chains. As a key supplier of bananas to European retailers, Fyffes asked RA's assistance to develop practical mechanisms to achieve this goal.

Rainforest Alliance’s 2020 Sustainable Agriculture Standard (SAS) requires certificate holders to calculate and disclose their living wage gap, and to formulate a wage improvement plan. The RA SAS also requires and enables buyers to make additional payments to their suppliers (producers), so they can close the living wage gap. The mechanisms and procedures to calculate and implement targeted living wage payments are currently being developed and tested.

Although all actors understand that paying a living wage can increase production costs and affect banana prices, it is less clear how a particular supply chain can make the transition from the prevailing remuneration and procurement practices to the desired situation, where a living wage is paid to workers without disrupting the banana business.

Main Objectives

The consultant will analyse the root causes of the living wage gap in the banana sector for the 3 countries within scope (Colombia, Costa Rica and Belize) and analyse how these affect the wages on 13 banana farms that supply to Fyffes and Dutch retailers. The consultant will consult stakeholders to explore and propose practical solutions / actions to bridge the living wage gap(s).

This consultancy is part of a living wage pilot implemented by Dutch retailers, Fyffes and 13 banana farms (mix of Fyffes farms and independent suppliers).

The consultancy has the following components:

  • Sector level analysis of prevailing wages in the banana sector in Costa Rica, Belize and Colombia, and root causes of the living wage gaps.
  • Analysis of the self-reported living wage gaps of 13 participating farms (available from 3rd party validated salary matrices for each farm).
  • Bilateral consultations with stakeholders, including worker representatives, to validate the living wage gap data and the root cause analysis, identify the needs and challenges of each stakeholder, and formulate actionable and actor-specific recommendations to bridge the living wage gap.
  • Presentation of findings and recommendations in 3 country stakeholder workshops.

Proposed method

  • Review and synthesis of relevant literature;
  • Farm / enterprise visits for bilateral stakeholder interviews;
  • Interviews with workers and labor union representatives;
  • Interviews with supply chain actors to understand procurement practices and how these affect wages;
  • Consult with RA labor law consultant to explore solutions per country.


1. Inception report

  • Preliminary situation and root cause analysis; workplan for bilateral consultations with stakeholders and for additional data collection.

2. Draft and final report

  • Analysis of the enabling and limiting factors for different stakeholders (workers, producers, buyers, etc.) related to setting wages and doing business.
  • Analysis of existing procurement practices and the potential contribution of increased prices and other changes to procurement practices to close the living wage gaps.
  • Analysis of how workers’ interests and voices are represented, including worker organizations and trade unions, in the legal and social context of each country and on the particular farms.
  • Proposed solutions – following individual stakeholder consultations – on how to consult workers and ensure that they benefit from (additional) living wage contributions.

3. Presentations on stakeholder meetings

Presentation of findings and recommendations with participation in 3 multi-stakeholder consultation workshops (1 per country). These stakeholder consultations will be organized and facilitated by RA and will result in agreed and concrete plans to bridge the living wage gaps. The consultant’s role is that of a resource person / advisor.

General terms and conditions for Request for proposal

  • Proposals and/or any additional information received after the submission time and date are subject to rejection by The Rainforest Alliance. Incomplete proposals may be rejected by RA at its discretion.
  • The Rainforest Alliance reserves the right to request additional information at any time during the procurement process.
  • RA is at liberty to make multiple or no selections as part of the proposal process. RA also reserves the right to cancel the procurement.
  • All proposal costs shall be borne by the applicant and will not be reimbursed by RA.

Selection Criteria

Experience with:

  • Assessments of labor issues in agriculture
  • Social research methods
  • Multi-stakeholder consultations

Knowledge of:

  • The banana sector in Latin America, value chain actors and main labor issues
  • The living wage (concept and benchmarks).
  • Labour relations and workers’ representation


  • Research, synthesis and reporting skills
  • Ability to build trust with different stakeholders
  • Analytical and results-oriented
  • Cultural sensitivity
  • Fluent in Spanish and English
  • Ability to quickly familiarize with some tools used in the banana sector to calculate living wage gaps and price premiums

Proposal Process and Format

  • Proposals (not exceeding 10 pages including annexes) should be submitted before 30 May 2022 08:00 hours CST (UTC-6) to Oscar Maroto (

Format for proposals

  • Proposals should not exceed 10 pages and include:
  • Your understanding of this assignment
  • Proposed approach, methods, sequencing, timeframe
  • Track record of relevant assignments
  • Disclosure of potential conflict of interest (if any)
  • In case of firms or proposals by more than 1 consultant: please name the team leader, the contracting entity / person, and list name, place of residence and qualifications, of all team members.
  • Financial offer (budget) in US$ detailing daily rates and number of budgeted days per consultant(s); travel expenses; additional costs; including VAT if applicable.

Support provided by RA

  • Salary matrices of the participating farms
  • Contact details of participating producers and firms
  • Introduction letter to all participants in the living wage pilot (13 farms, 2 retailers, Fyffes)
  • Organization and facilitation of 3 multi-stakeholder consultation workshops
  • Timely input and feedback to draft deliverables


  • Deadline for proposals: 30 May 2022
  • Selection and contracting: 15 June 2022
  • Inception report: 30 July 2022
  • Final report: 30 September 2022
  • Multi stakeholder meetings: Oct-Nov 2022 (dates t.b.d.)

Proposal review and selection will take place in the week of 30 May. Preselected candidates will be invited for an interview (remote) to be held in the week of 6 June.

Candidates will be notified about RA’s decision no later than 13th of June.

Thank you for your interest in working with The Rainforest Alliance