Fairtrade in new push for ‘clean gold’February 2015
Following its success with tea, coffee and bananas, the Fairtrade Foundation is looking to further its engagement with the gold industry.
“Not enough people know about Fairtrade gold. By choosing it, you can create a better life for miners and their communities,” said Amy Ross, Fairtrade Gold project manager at the launch of the organisation’s new ‘I Do’ campaign, encouraging couples to choose Fairtrade gold rings this Valentine’s Day.
A recent survey by Cred Jewellery found that only 16% of people said they were familiar with Fairtrade gold as opposed to 64% who were familiar with Fairtrade tea or coffee.
The Fairtrade Foundation estimates that £1m in Fairtrade Premium could be generated if 50,000 couples chose Fairtrade gold wedding rings.
The campaign launch coincides with the Foundation’s publication of a new Industry Briefing to explain the complexities behind the gold mining industry and its new Standard for Gold & Precious Metals to help protect miners and their familiar against poverty and exploitation, revising the standard first introduced in 2011.
According to Fairtrade, there are 15m artisanal and small-scale gold miners globally producing 10-15% of the world’s gold supplies. Despite the promise of a better livelihood, the industry is rife with exploitation and daily contact with toxic chemicals. Miners can earn as little as $1 a day.
The new standard is said to encourage best practice and be in line with upcoming changes in international regulation and legislation around the production and trade of ‘conflict minerals’.
Under the new standard miners are required to:
- Uphold human rights policy preventing war crimes, bribery, money laundering and child labour;
- Try to minimize the risks of conflict minerals through robust risk assessments and collaboration across supply chains;
- Report to buyers and trading partners regarding the risk of conflict minerals.
Ross added: “By choosing Fairtrade gold you can help create a better life for miners and their communities. Fairtrade gold supports miners to eliminate child labour, work their way out of the vicious circle of exploitation and poverty and reduce the harmful impacts of mercury. Fairtrade hopes to now engage with gold in the same way it has with tea, coffee and bananas.”
Picture credit: Cox & Power
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