Fairtrade announces formal consultation process

I Do campaign

Fairtrade International has launched a public consultation on its Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals for Artisanal and Small-scale Mining to explore how Fairtrade can best tackle new regulation and legislation in the gold industry.

The aim is for Fairtrade to offer a small, but scalable solution to companies looking to source gold from artisanal and small-scale miners that can demonstrate conformance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.

The consultation will run from 15 September 2014 to 17 October 2014 and the revisions to the Standard will be published in December 2014.

The process will provide small scale miners and the wider extractives and jewellery industry a chance to input their views on what options should be included in the document.

Greg Valerio, Fairtrade International’s Gold and Precious Metals Programme Coordinator said: "This process will ensure that the Fairtrade Standard for Gold, will become even stronger, deeper and more aligned to international conflict-free sourcing protocols, the outcome of which will create more positive opportunities for artisanal and small scale miners and their communities globally and give gold buyers and the jewellery industry the reassurances it needs when it comes to conflict free sourcing regulations."

"This is a significant development for Fairtrade gold and will further strengthen our offering, enabling producers in situations of political and economic turbulence to provide buyers with the information and assurances they need to maintain their commercial relationships.

"It is vital that we are nimble and able to adapt Fairtrade Standard to this evolving and complex legal context so that we can enable much-needed systemic change in the gold industry".

The consultation covers a number of topics as Fairtrade International aims to develop a standard that is closely adapted to the specific context and needs of small-scale miners.

Of specific note are the following areas:

- New requirements which relate to the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502 (law applicable to US issuers); draft EU Regulation incentivising self-certification for importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold who choose to import responsibly into the EU; and the OECD DDG (Due Diligence Guidance) - referred to by both the US law and draft EU law.

- The increased participation of workers in the governance of mining organizations

- The management and eradication of toxic substances in mining operations

- The protection of human rights

The project will be carried out according to the Standard Operating Procedures for the development of Fairtrade Standards. More information on these procedures can be found at www.fairtrade.net For further details, and to take part in the consultation, please go to www.fairtrade.net/standards-work-in-progress.html or email s.amarsy@fairtrade.net. Visit www.fairgold.org for further information about Fairtrade gold.

 

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For more information, interviews, footage and images, please contact Martine Parry, Media and PR Manager in the Fairtrade Foundation press office on 020 7440 7695 or at martine.parry @fairtrade.org.uk

Notes to Editors

 

 Around the world small-scale mining directly employs about 30 million miners and generates economic opportunity and livelihoods for at least 100 million more.

 Fairtrade gold was first launched in 2011 in the UK closely followed by launches in Australia, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Luxembourg, Netherlands, Norway, South Korea and Sweden. Discussions are currently underway to introduce certified gold in the USA and Switzerland in the near future.

 The Fairtrade Minimum Price for pure gold is set at 95% of the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) fix plus a Fairtrade Premium of US$2000 per kilogram of fine gold bought from the mines. Platinum: 95% LMBA + Fairtrade Premium of 15%; Silver: 95% LMBA + Fairtrade Premium of 10%. The LBMA fix is the international agreed price for gold. Artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) producers in the mainstream get anything from 50% to 85% of the LBMA fix.

 Miners can earn a premium of 15% on top of their sale price when they recover and process gold without the use of harmful chemicals such as mercury and cyanide.

 Certified miners must use safe and responsible practices for managing toxic chemicals in gold recovery. Chemicals have to be reduced to a minimum and where possible eliminated over an agreed time period, supporting achievement of the policy goals of the Minamata Convention on mercury management and elimination.

 Child and forced labour is prohibited under Fairtrade standards, and Fairtrade community monitoring stamps it out wherever it is found.

 The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade International. The Mark is licensed s on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. Today, more than 1.3 million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 70 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.