Living wages initiative given anti-trust green light

The German government’s Federal Cartel Office, the Bundeskartellamt, has announced that the Living Wages initiative of German retailers in cooperation with GIZ (the German Government’s International Development agency) does not violate anti-trust law.

The Federal Cartel Office said that it does not see any competition concerns regarding a voluntary commitment by retailers to common standards on wages in the banana sector. By way of further explanation, the Cartel Office states that the cooperation does not involve any exchange on purchase prices, other costs, production quantities or margins. Furthermore, there are no mandatory minimum prices or price mark-ups to be agreed between the members of the working group.

This announcement paves the way for the German Retailers’ Working Group on Living Wages – ALDI Nord, ALDI Süd, dm-drogerie markt, Kaufland, Lidl and REWE Group – to proceed with their step-by-step integration of Living Wage criteria into the banana portfolio of their own brands. A first joint pilot project on living wages in the banana sector will be undertaken in the coming months.


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