16 April 2013
Expert Fairtrade jeweller Greg Valerio has been appointed to help drive Fairtrade International’s work on gold, following a decision to simplify the labelling process and help grow the market. Greg shares a vision to pioneer better conditions for artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM) through Fairtrade and was closely involved in the process leading to Fairtrade International and the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) jointly launching the world’s first independent certification scheme for gold in 2011, closely followed by highly successful launches in other global markets.
Fairtrade certification for gold has brought about significant empowerment of miner’s organisations, raising awareness of issues in the ASM sector and providing businesses with a traceable source of responsibly mined and fairly traded gold.
In the first year of trading alone, people living in the isolated Peruvian community of Santa Filomena have reaped the benefits of being Fairtrade certified. Thanks to the Fairtrade Premium generated by Sotrami, the community has been able to invest in improved healthcare, primary school facilities and new computers for the senior school. They also opened a not-for-profit convenience store which means the 500-strong community can buy food at reasonable prices.
Greg is passionate about the potential held by the jewellery industry to transform the lives of small-scale miners through market traceability and transparency.
“Jewellery is an iconic luxury purchase, yet the way it is normally sourced is the opposite extreme. This needs to change.
“For me the challenge is to make it culturally unacceptable to sell an item of jewellery that is not independently certified as socially and environmentally responsible.
“I am delighted to join a team which remains focused on continuing to improve working conditions, environmental standards and terms of trade for ASM mining organizations and providing a growing sustainable source of responsibly mined gold for jewellers, jewellery manufacturers and ethical investment houses,” Greg Valerio says.
Founder of CRED Jewellery, co-founder of Fair Jewellery Action and author of ‘Towards an Ethical Jewellery Business’, Greg has an extensive background in human rights and environmental advocacy in the sector. In 1991 aged 24 following trips to Tanzania and Ethiopia, he started CRED, a development education network on the south coast of England.
In 1996 Greg started CRED Jewellery, the pioneering fine jewellery company. In 2004 he brought fully certified green gold wedding rings to the UK in partnership with disadvantaged ASM programme Oro Verde.
Greg is a regular columnist for The National Association of Goldsmiths Jewellery Magazine, writer, public speaker on Ethics in Jewellery and is consulting with a number of groups in Africa keen to use the wealth of their minerals to bring peace and prosperity to their communities.
He initiated and currently serves on the British Jewellers Association and National Association of Goldsmiths ethics working group. He acts as an adviser to the Diamond Development Initiative. Greg is now blogging at Fair Jewellery Action (FJA) and is working with FJA on promoting fair jewellery to the consumer, alongside work in Africa on the Destination Fairtrade Gold project.
– ENDS –
Head of Media Relations
020 7440 7686/07770 957 451
Media and PR Manager
020 7440 7695
Media and PR Manager
020 7440 8597/07766 504 947
020 7440 7692
Notes to Editors
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 appears on products to show that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal from trade. Today, more than 1.24 million people – farmers and workers – across more than 60 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.
Over 4,500 products have been licensed to carry the FAIRTRADE Mark including coffee, tea, herbal teas, chocolate, cocoa, sugar, bananas, grapes, pineapples, mangoes, avocados, apples, pears, plums, grapefruit, lemons, oranges, satsumas, clementines, mandarins, lychees, coconuts, dried fruit, juices, smoothies, biscuits, cakes & snacks, honey, jams & preserves, chutney & sauces, rice, quinoa, herbs & spices, seeds, nuts & nut oil, wines, beers, rum, confectionary, muesli, cereal bars, yoghurt, ice-cream, flowers, sports balls, sugar body scrub and cotton products including clothing, homeware, cloth toys, cotton wool, olive oil, gold, silver and platinum.
Estimated retail sales of Fairtrade products in 2012 reached £1.57 billion, a 19% increase on sales of £1.32 bn in 2011.