Unilever will force its tens of thousands of suppliers to pay their staff a living wage as part of a new range of commitments that is expected to impact millions of workers globally. The maker of Marmite and Dove soap said by 2030, it will require that anyone who directly provides goods and services to the company earns at least a living wage or income, in an effort to improve living standards for low-paid workers worldwide. The move is thought to be the first of its kind by a British company and will affect all of Unilever's 70,000 suppliers and service providers. Unilever said it will focus on helping the most vulnerable workers in manufacturing and agriculture and in certain crop industries such as cocoa, tea, palm oil, vegetables and vanilla, where the disparity between a legal minimum wage and living wage is traditionally larger. Unilever will begin working with companies in China, India, Brazil,Vietnam and the Philippines within the next month. Alan Jope, the company's chief executive, said: "We believe the actions we are committing to will make Unilever a better, stronger business; ready for the huge societal changes we are experiencing today – changes that will only accelerate. Without a healthy society, there cannot be a healthy business."