This is ongoing recordings of a dialogs between members of our Manufacturing Group charged with the task of developing exceptional standards for jewelry manufacturing. . Follow this link for full review of past discussions.
In this post, I introduce the first proposed principle and standard: Community Consent.
~ Marc Choyt, Publisher, fairjewelry.org.
The concerns highlighted by Martin and Flavia are critical lessons illustrating pitfalls in context to producer/supplier relationships that we do not want to replicate. Yet, like most of us in this group, I work in the mainstream jewelry sector, not the niche fair trade craft market.
I just want to emphasize that the handicraft jewelry world which is the focus on some of our discussion as shown here:
Is entirely different than an Oro Verde engagement ring with a fair trade gemstone. Or, the exemplary projects in training villagers in jewelry skills in South Africa being supported by Vukani Ubuntu.
The focus of this working group is on fair standards for the jewelry sector, where our work can have a much greater impact. With all due respect to all participants, I would like to refocus and begin the actual standard setting process.
Before we begin, I would like to bring your attention to the Manufacturing Group Procedures, on page 4, which deals with how to manage disagreements. I quote now:
“Recognizing that consensus may not always be possible, it was decided that a two thirds vote would be sufficient to move forward with a decision. In the case that participants had a strong minority opinion, that minority view would also be published.”
In addition, as a reminder to those who are new to the group, the Principles which are the basis for our standards discussion were determined through a group process just as we are engaging in, between 2008 and 2009. These are archived on fairjewelry.org in the manufacturing section.
Companies recognize that community support is the foundation of any fair made product. To the extent possible, companies will obtain prior informed consent of affected communities and civil society before starting operations. Companies will support local community as part of their efforts toward sustainable manufacturing.
Sustainable manufacturing first and foremost generates maximum beneficial economic activity in a local community. This includes decent work at a livable wage, environmental safeguards and real support of the general well being of a host community.
Standards for Community Consent:
1.1: Companies will provide documentation of consent for their operations from local community and government.
1.2: Companies will provide documentation listing how they work with community as part of their efforts at sustainable manufacturing. Possible documentation would include: community meeting minutes, or photo/video footage of processes.
1.3p: Companies should make a positive difference to the quality of life in the communities where they live, providing not only jobs at a living wage, but supporting activities relating to the public good, such as charitable and or cultural program activities, or a community based forum, if it does not exist.
I welcome your comments on improving this first point. Thank you once again for your efforts in support of this project.