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Firmenich Becomes Second Company in the World to Secure Living Wage Certification for All Employees

Living Wage is embedded within wider set of responsible pay practices aimed at creating equal opportunities and building a more inclusive society

Geneva, Switzerland, June 16th, 2022 -

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, announces it has achieved living wage certification across all of its global operations. Firmenich is the second company in the world and the first in its industry to achieve this milestone, ensuring decent living standards for employees globally. Following a rigorous external assessment by Fair Wage Network, a widely recognized international NGO, the Group was awarded this pioneering certification three years ahead of its target completion date.


“I am very proud that Firmenich is one of only two companies worldwide to have succeeded in securing living wage certification,” said Gilbert Ghostine, CEO Firmenich. “As a critical pillar of our inclusive capitalism model, our progressive approach aims at creating a positive impact for all our stakeholders, and our employees are key to making us thrive as a responsible business. Ensuring that people, wherever they are, earn a living wage is a critical step towards building a more equitable and inclusive workplace and society. Fair Wage Network recognizes our concrete achievements in embedding fair compensation across our Group and I am particularly pleased this is raising the standard in our industry. I hope this inspires other organizations to join our efforts.”


“Firmenich continues to set the standard for excellence in the world of work, and our holistic strategy aims at securing equity and inclusion across the entire organization. Building on achievements such as our EDGE certification, our no gender pay gap policy, equal representation on the Executive Committee, and a culture of diversity and inclusion, this certification will further strengthen Firmenich’s profile as a leading global employer,” said Mieke Van de Capelle, Chief Human Resources Officer at Firmenich. “Having reached this milestone already today, we will now further accelerate our efforts, partnering with suppliers to ensure that fair wage practices become the standard to do business together.” 


The notion of a living wage is embedded within a wider set of responsible pay practices and principles already in place at Firmenich, such as fairness, equality and performance rewards. Living wage certification reinforces the Group’s equitable culture and helps to stimulate economic growth with benefits for its employees, and the wider community.


In 2021, Firmenich committed to providing a certified living wage to 100% of employees globally by 2025. Having achieved this goal already today, Firmenich is engaged in driving strong practices on living wage across the value chain in collaboration with its customers and suppliers. Training for 100 major suppliers on human rights will include 10 new initiatives at source, including focus on women’s empowerment, education, human rights practices and living wage.


Firmenich is an active member in living wage initiatives, including the UN Global Compact Decent Work in Supply Chain platform; IDH (The Sustainable Trade Initiative); Sustainable Vanilla Initiative (SVI); and the Juice Covenant on the juice value chain. The Group has also been recognized by the United Nations Global Compact and will assume from June 2022 a global leadership position at the Labor and Decent Work Global Compact platform.



Ingvild Van Lysebetten
VP Group Communications
Mob. +41 79 833 7252

Related links

Living Wage Certified

Definition of living wage

A living wage is defined as the wage that is required to purchase the goods and services needed to meet a minimum acceptable living standard for workers and their families, encompassing access to health, food and nutrition, housing and education. Our current approach focuses on our own employees. We seek first to learn best practices and then deploy them with our suppliers.




Fair Wage Network has defined the living wage amount for each of the countries where Firmenich has employees. Those thresholds helped assess whether the fixed compensation paid to all employees in each country meets the living wage standard. Fair Wage Network validated the analysis and carried out random surveys among employees in a number of business units. This last step was essential to confirm that all employees’ wages reach the threshold. After the successful completion of these two external assessments, Fair Wage Network certified Firmenich as a living wage employer.



About Firmenich 

Firmenich, the world’s largest privately-owned fragrance and taste company, was founded in Geneva, Switzerland, in 1895, and has been family-owned for 126 years. Firmenich is a leading business-to-business company specialized in the research, creation, manufacture and sale of perfumes, flavors and ingredients. Renowned for its world-class research and creativity, as well as its leadership in sustainability, Firmenich offers its customers superior innovation in formulation, a broad and high-quality palette of ingredients, and proprietary technologies including biotechnology, encapsulation, olfactory science and taste modulation. Firmenich had an annual turnover of 4.3 billion Swiss Francs at end June 2021. More information about Firmenich is available at