What’s more valuable than gold? First Fairtrade and Fairmined gold is celebrating its first anniversary. The Fairtrade Foundation, which certifies the gold, has announced that 350kg per year of gold will soon be available to jewellers, with more to follow. In the first year of trading, four gold mining organisations have become certified and an additional two are currently going through the inspection process and will enter the system in May, reports retail-jeweller.
The Fairtrade Foundation is currently working with 40 jewellers, almost double the number at the time of the launch, and has licensed 591 individual jewellery pieces plus several entire collections.
The Fairtrade Foundation together with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) are bringing to market the first ever Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold jewellery in the UK. This initiative offers a lifeline to economically disadvantaged artisanal miners and their communities by training miners’ groups like SOTRAMI in Peru, Oro Verde in Colombia and Cotapata in Bolivia to meet standards on working conditions, child labour, women’s rights, cleaner technology, health and safety, management of chemicals and responsibility to the environment before the gold they produce can be certified as Fairtrade and Fairmined. In return, the miners gain market access and receive a Fairtrade premium which must be used democratically to improve their business or for community development projects.
Fairtrade and Fairmined certification brings consumers and retailers confidence that artisanal and small-scale miners are getting a fair deal and responsible mining practices have been used. But this is just the start of the journey. Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold has the potential to enable thousands more artisanal miners to escape from unfair supply chains and dangerous working conditions.