The Anker Methodology for estimating a living wage

Resource type:
Case studies and tools
Estimating the cost of a basic but decent lifestyle for workers and families

The Global Living Wage Coalition (GLWC) was formed by Fairtrade International, GoodWeave International, Rainforest Alliance, Social Accountability International (SAI), and UTZ. Together they work on the methodology, promotion, and implementation of a living wage for the workers that are protected by their respective labour standards. The living wage methodology takes into account the cost of food, housing and other essential needs for workers and has two main components. The first component estimates cost of a basic but decent lifestyle for a worker and his/her family in a particular place. The second component determines if the estimated living wage is being paid to workers.

Importantly, food costs are calculated according to costs of a nutritious diet, not adequate calories. "Estimates are based on: (i) a low cost nutritious diet that meets World Health Organization (WHO) recommendations on calories, macronutrients, and micronutrients and is consistent with local food preferences and a country’s development level; and (ii) local food prices for the types, qualities, and quantities of foods that workers typically buy based on new data collection that involves workers and key informants." 

The Anker method sets out groundbreaking approaches to encourage local participation, trust and accountability, with important implications for the overall well-being of workers. 

This resource presents evidence or data but has not been peer reviewed