According to a study on the perceptions of garment factory owners on the issue of worker nutrition, 52 percent of respondents agree that nutrition affects workers’ productivity. Click here to see the full survey
The survey was conducted in 27 factories that employ 34,939 workers, which is about 10 percent of total Cambodian garment factory workforce.
Only 33 percent of the respondents agreed that workers eat healthy meals, while the rest stated that they were not sure.
A majority of the participants (54 percent) think that workers spend less than 1500 Riel (nearly US$0.40) on breakfast. Lunch and dinner are the more expensive meals on which the workers spend money. 45 percent of the respondents state that workers spend more money on lunch (between 1500 Riel and 2000 Riel--around US$0.50) and dinner (over 2000 Riel).
Most of the interviewees replied that the factories agreed to pay for main meals (72 percent of the respondents would pay for breakfast, 57 percent for lunch and 73 percent for dinner) with the cost being less than 2000 Riel per worker if there were an outside meal service provider like the HAGAR Catering and Facilities Management (HCRM).
The study was conducted by BDLink Cambodia, commissioned by HCRM and funded by ILO-Better Factories Cambodia.
“The report will be the basis for factories and international brands to consider how crucial it is to provide free and nutritious food for workers and how this links to productivity if they want to see workers producing more output. More importantly, this can improve the welfare of the workers,” said Ms. Jill Tucker, Chief Technical Advisor for ILO-Better Factories Cambodia.
In the report, it also highlights the amount of money a factory is supposed to spend on food for a worker, ranging from 1000 Riel (US$0.25) to 3000 Riel (US$0.75) per year.