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Unilever: Empowering Lives Across The Global Value Chain


Inequality is a multifaceted issue that extends far beyond mere income disparities, affecting health, human rights, and economic growth. Recognizing this, Unilever is committed to improving the livelihoods of individuals throughout their global value chain. Unilever’s efforts aim to foster economic resilience of both their partners and their business.

Income inequality hinders economic growth and impacts individuals’ health, wellbeing, and access to opportunities. It also poses a threat to the robustness of corporate value chains. By enhancing the livelihoods of those in their value chain, they aim to bolster their economic stability and, in turn, strengthen their own business resilience.

Unilever aspires to support the people who grow, produce, and sell their products by ensuring they have decent livelihoods. This includes earning a living wage that covers daily necessities and securing dignified and fair work. Their short-term objectives are deigned to create lasting positive impacts.

By 2026 Unilever aims to assist 250,000 smallholder farmers within their supply chain in accessing livelihoods programs. These initiatives will improve their agricultural practices and overall economic conditions, promoting sustainable growth and resilience.

Unilever is encouraging their suppliers to commit to their Living Wage Promise. By 2026, they aim for suppliers representing 50% of their procurement spend to have signed this pledge. This commitment is a crucial step towards ensuring that employees across their supply chain receive fair compensation.

Their goal is to help 2.5 million SMEs within their retail value chain grow their businesses by 2026. By providing them with access to tools, training, and resources, they aim to foster their development and sustainability.

Addressing the systemic barriers to decent livelihoods requires collective action. Unilever is collaborating with various partners to drive systemic change. For smallholders, this means certifying key crops through certification partners and investing in programs that promote income growth and regenerative agriculture.

Unilever is also working to enhance their suppliers’ capabilities to identify and address wage gaps, ensuring fair compensation across the board. For small retailers, they are offering access to the tools and training necessary for business growth.

Unilever is actively involved in local and global coalitions, advocating for higher farmer incomes and regenerative agricultural practices. Additionally, they are pushing for private sector engagement and government policy reforms to create a level paying field for living wages.

Through these concerted efforts, Unilever aims to make a significant impact on reducing inequality and improving livelihoods across their global value chain, fostering a sustainable and equitable future for all.

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