The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for couples of faith to play a vital role in trade justice when they marry.
Churches and faith groups have taken the lead in promoting Fairtrade goods over the past 20 years, but the job is not done, and the Fairtrade Foundation is now asking the religious community to encourage brides-to-be to choose wedding rings made from Fairtrade gold as part of their commitment to social, environmental justice and the principles of fair trade.
Fairtrade’s call to action is part to of a new bridal campaign, ‘I Do’ which launches next Spring and aims to generate $1 million in Fairtrade Premiums for small-scale mining communities by selling 100,000 wedding bands to 50,000 couples.
Reverend James Sharp from Bournemouth said: “'As a Church of England priest, I am delighted to support the Fairtrade Foundation’s “I Do” campaign. Fairtrade has its roots in the Christian concept of trade justice and it is great news that people can now buy wedding rings that represent and reflect the values of equality fairness and directly help to alleviate poverty”.
Greg Valerio, Fairtrade International gold and precious metals programme co-ordinator said: “The church's role is as significant today as it ever was as we continue to fight to bring the benefits to those who need it the most and to expand Fairtrade into new areas such as the luxury jewellery market. Christian organisations, in partnership with development agencies, helped Fairtrade’s jour¬ney from marginal to mainstream.
“Small scale mining is the second biggest global employer, and many of those mines force their workers to labour long hours in dirty and dangerous conditions for a pittance, whilst we enjoy the high value ,glittering jewellery made using their gold.”
Artisanal and small-scale mining is a poverty driven activity with the average daily wage being an estimated $2 and small-scale miners are the forgotten majority in the mining sector where over 100 million people globally are dependent on it for their livelihoods. Small-scale miners work in remote, marginalised and harsh conditions, doing back-breaking work to scrap a living. They are consistently exploited by middle men, their access to markets is limited and they rarely receive a fair price for their gold.
Fairtrade gold is a ground breaking initiative that links consumers of jewellery with the source of their purchase and offers transparency, traceability, truth and justice embedded into the livelihoods of the millions of artisanal and small-scale miners across the world.
Couples celebrating the start of a life-long commitment with the people they love can choose Fairtrade gold engagement and wedding bands from over 150 retailers, jewellers, designers and goldsmiths listed at www.fairtrade.org.uk/gold who have all signed up to support the campaign .
For more information, visit www.fairgold.org.
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For more information, interviews, please contact Martine Parry, Media and PR Manager in the Fairtrade Foundation press office on 020 7440 7695 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
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Notes to Editors
∙ Around the world small-scale mining employs about 15 million miners. As many as 100 million people depend on it for their livelihoods.
∙ 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.
∙ Child and forced labour is prohibited under Fairtrade standards, and Fairtrade 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.