Seeking mills to participate in living wage pilot project

28th April 2021

Bonsucro is looking for mills to participate in a living wage pilot project led by ISEAL, supported by IDH, the sustainable trade initiative.

The project involves testing the “IDH salary matrix” and audit guidelines. The tool was developed to support efforts by companies to bring transparency in supply chains regarding wages. It helps companies evaluate how the total remuneration (including wages, bonuses, cash and in-kind benefits) compares to existing, relevant living wage benchmarks.

Verification pilots will be undertaken through ten different sustainability schemes. These pilots in the project will provide schemes, like Bonsucro, producers and assurance providers a unique opportunity to test the salary matrix tool and accompanying verification guidelines. The pilots create the space for us to learn more about these tools and test their effectiveness and efficacy to advance on living wage requirements within their Standards and associated assurance services.

The key value propositions are:

  • To provide participating schemes the opportunity to test the use of the salary matrix and accompanying verification guidelines within their supply chains and with their certification entities
  • To provide auditing firms the opportunity to learn more about wage verification and challenges thereof through the use of the IDH-developed verification guidelines and associated auditor training in support of their work and services on this topic
  • To provide producers and companies an opportunity to use the salary matrix (if not done so already) and test its value and effectiveness as a self-assessment tool as well as learn from the third party verification step on how to improve use of the tool
  • To gather feedback from these pilots to support the further improvement of the salary matrix tool itself and associated verification guidelines
  • To further collective learning around the topic of wage verification and auditing with pilots across sectors and countries on the same topic.

All information shared in the salary matrix will be strictly confidential. The objective of the project is to test the usability of the tool and the effectiveness of the audit guidelines, not the result themselves. Ten different sustainability standards will take part in this project.

If you are interested in participating, or want to find out more about this project, please contact  In the case of no prior experience, producers will be requested to participate in a training provided on the SM tool provided by IDH. Outside of this training, we estimate the total effort from participating producers to be 1.5 days of staff time from their end to support the auditors and participate in learning calls.