Economía Agroalimentaria

FAO and the Living Income Community of Practice forge collaborative path for Living Income progress


In a concerted effort to advance the Living Income (LI) concept, the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) teamed up with the Living Income Community of Practice (LICOP) to facilitate two days of robust discussions and knowledge exchange. The event, which took place 9–10 November in Rome, served as a platform for Living Income practitioners, FAO colleagues, and partner organizations – such as the European Commission Joint Research Centre – Seville, International Labour Organization (ILO),  International Fund for Agricultural Development (IFAD), United Nations Development Programme, (UNDP), Royal Tropical Institute (KIT), and the Sustainable Trade Initiative (IDH) – to engage in discourse about the topic.

According to LICOP's definition, Living Income is “the net annual income required for a household in a particular place to afford a decent standard of living for all members of that household.” The workshop´s primary goals were to introduce this concept, outline its methods and data requirements, identify potential applications of the concept within FAO, and pinpoint areas of collaboration between FAO's programs and projects and LICOP.

Renowned experts in the application of the LI concept delivered impactful presentations, sharing methodologies, case studies, and valuable lessons learned for measuring the income gap and strategies to close it. Institutions like the Anker Research Institute, Sustainable Food Lab, Wageningen University, Mars Incorporated, German Agency for International Cooperation (GIZ), along with FAO colleagues, contributed insights into their work, identifying areas of potential collaboration.

Key insights:

  • Mainstreaming the concept: The LI concept is gaining traction, especially amid ongoing debates on new due diligence laws and legislations.
  • Addressing income gap: Across various sectors and countries, a significant income gap persists. It is crucial to recognize that short, medium, and long-term policy tools are imperative for addressing the living income gap. Moreover, these policy tools are intricately connected to those supporting the transformation of sustainable and inclusive food systems. Closing this gap necessitates collaborative efforts from all stakeholders, stressing the importance of public-private partnerships. Different actors within the multistakeholder landscape have distinct roles in driving change for a decent standard of living and narrowing the income gap.
  • Enhanced exchange: Recognizing the importance of understanding FAO's role, there is a call for increased exchange to fully grasp how FAO can actively contribute to advancing the Living Income concept.
  • Awareness and technical discourse: A dual imperative is identified—to heighten awareness about the LI concept within FAO and to facilitate dedicated technical discussions on the methodology with FAO colleagues.

Looking ahead, LICOP offered the opportunity to hold regular follow-up meetings with FAO organizers and interested colleagues.  All participants are invited to contribute, fostering an ongoing dialogue aimed at realizing living incomes for all. This collaborative endeavor signifies a step towards meaningful change in the pursuit of fair and sustainable livelihoods.