20 companies say ‘I do’ to Fairtrade and Fairmined gold
World’s oldest jeweller Garrard; pioneer ethical jeweller CRED and luxury bespoke jeweller Harriet Kelsall are among the first 20* companies to launch the world’s first Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold, the Fairtrade Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) announced today, 14 February.
Fabulous collections and one-off pieces including wedding and engagement rings, earrings and necklaces will begin to go on sale after Valentine’s Day.
All the pieces will be stamped with the FAIRTRADE Mark and Fairmined Mark, the stamp of reassurance that the miners are getting a better deal.
Green queen and Fairtrade ambassador Livia Firth said: ‘We associate gold with love and beauty but there is often nothing beautiful about the way that gold is produced. Tens of millions of small-scale gold miners risk their lives in often appalling conditions and get a raw deal for their strenuous efforts.’
The launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold in the UK will provide a lifeline for thousands of impoverished small-scale and artisanal miners in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru who find themselves at the mercy of unfair markets. Many face exploitation from middle men who pay below market prices and cheat them on weight and purity of gold content.
Being part of the Fairtrade and Fairmined system means miners will receive a set Fairtrade minimum price for their gold, plus the Fairtrade premium to invest in community and business development projects. Plans include improving working conditions at the mines and setting up community projects in education, health, and environmental restoration.
Giving gold jewellery is about love, romance and beauty. But all too often, how conventional gold is mined is not a pretty story: the launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold comes as the price for the precious metal surges on world markets, luring hundreds of thousands more to seek their fortune in one of the world’s most dangerous industries .
Globally, over 100 million people depend directly or indirectly on artisanal and small-scale mining, risking disease, serious injury and death, miners often work in backbreaking conditions and with little legal protection. They produce 10% of our annual global gold supplies, but constitute up to 90% of labour in gold extraction.
Mining communities usually lack basic sanitation, clean and safe drinking water and have little or no access to health and education services. Full details of the conditions faced by small-scale miners are revealed in a new report by the Fairtrade Foundation published to coincide with the launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined gold on Valentine’s Day.
This is why Fairtrade and Fairmined gold is so necessary. Jenny Torres Delgado , 27-year-old miner from Peru said: ‘I would ask the people in the UK to understand that when they buy our gold, they’ll be doing a good thing and helping many women who work hard and have to struggle to get the gold’.
Fairtrade and Fairmined gold represents a unique union between the miners, ARM, Fairtrade Foundation, campaigners and companies, where each piece of jewellery is the symbol of a sustainable future for the mining communities.
Fairtrade and Fairmined gold will be initially launched in the UK and then rolled out to other countries with a long term vision of capturing 5% of the gold jewellery market over a 15-year period. A network of pilot projects will be launched in Africa later this year and then in Asia, enabling more miners to join the system.
The Fairtrade Foundation will collaborate with the UK’s largest consumer jewellery event, London Jewellery Week, 6-12 June 2011, to celebrate the launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold at Ethical Jewellery Pavilion Essence, the international collective showcasing the best designers in the emerging ethical movement.
*The full list of licensees taking part in the launch comprises:
Amanda Li Hope
Harriet Kelsall Jewellery
Ingle and Rhode
Pippa Small Jewellery
Ute Decker Sculptural Jewellery
– ENDS –
For more information, interviews and images, contact Martine Parry firstname.lastname@example.org 020 7440 7695/07886 301486 Or Cristina Echavarria on 07794725521
Notes to Editors
1) $137.5bn was spent globally on gold jewellery in 2010. India and the Middle East are the biggest consumers. The UK is the second largest gold jewellery market in Europe after Italy
2) The Fairtrade minimum price for pure gold is set at 95% of the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA) fix. The LBMA fix is the international agreed price for gold. ASM producers in the mainstream get anything from 30% to 85% of the LBMA fix.
3) Certified miners must use safe and responsible practices for management of toxic chemicals in gold recovery. Chemicals have to be reduced to a minimum and where possible eliminated over an agreed time period.
4) Miners can earn an additional premium of 5% of the LBMA fix when they recover gold without the use of mercury or cyanide.
5) The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label is now recognised by 72% of UK consumers and appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than 7.5 million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 58 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
6)The fairmined Mark, a registered trademark of the Alliance for Responsible Mining(ARM), ensures that the gold has been extracted and processed in a fair way and responsible manner. This means that the miners receive a fair price, good health and safety practises, care for the environment and participate in the social development of their communities. ARM is an international community-based multi-sector governed initiative created to enhance equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. ARM is committed to social justice and environmental responsibility as the values driving the transformation of ASM.
7) The partnership between Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) and Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) will create differentiated market access for gold products to support social, environmental and economic development outcomes for artisanal and small scale miners through:
- A credible programme of support and development for artisanal and small-scale miners.
- A high profile and trusted product label to drive market access on terms that support development.
The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) have the experience and networks to provide the necessary support, and Fairtrade labelling to create differentiated market access on terms that support development.
8) The dual stamp is an identification mark representative of the Fairtrade and Fairmined dual label. It combines simplified versions of the FAIRTRADE Mark and Fairmined mark so consumers can recognise they are purchasing a Fairtrade and Fairmined certified product. The dual stamp has been created for physical application by a Fairtrade nominated body (such as an Assay Office in the UK) to certified gold, silver or platinum products. This stamp is similar in size and method of application to the legally required hallmarks found on precious metals stamped by UK Assay Offices, however it is not a legal requirement and must not be referred to as a hallmark. It can only be referred to, in the first instance, as the ‘Fairtrade and Fairmined dual stamp’, and thereafter as the ‘dual stamp’. It is a requirement of the Fairtrade and Fairmined certification process in the UK.