From 22 April, the formal partnership between Fairtrade International and The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) will end, which means the dual label on gold, silver and platinum will be phased out during 2013 and replaced with the highly recognised FAIRTRADE Mark only, creating a more consumer friendly label. The FAIRTRADE Mark is the world’s best known ethical label, recognized by over 80% of consumers in several global markets. The move will also help increase jeweller participation in the Fairtrade gold scheme and bring maximum benefits back to miners.
The decision to separate the labelling process for gold follows an extensive review of the current system, in which the market clearly called for a simplification of the existing Fairtrade and Fairmined label to facilitate market growth. It also comes at the natural end of a three-year pilot partnership with the ARM.
Fairtrade International and ARM jointly launched Fairtrade and Fairmined gold in the UK in 2011, closely followed by launches in other global markets. Both partners in the pilot project shared a common vision to create better conditions for artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM). The partnership successfully brought about 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.
Working with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold has helped make miners a more powerful part of the industry, but we’re really just at the beginning of our journey,” said Harriet Lamb, Chief Executive of Fairtrade International. “We’re determined to put the spotlight on the challenges which miners face, to grow the market for Fairtrade gold, and to bring about improvement and change, to ensure a better future for miners and their families.”
“We are very proud of our achievements in the mining sector to date”, said Chris Davis, Head of Producer Services Africa & Middle East at Fairtrade International. “Going forward, the two partner organizations hope that by working more independently, yet cooperating wherever possible, we can make greater progress towards further improved terms of trade for disadvantaged miners in the future.”
“Fairtrade 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.”
Both partners will phase out the dual label through 2013, but continue to offer respective label certification programmes separately.
In the first year of Fairtrade and Fairmined certification 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 have 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.
– ENDS –
For more information, interviews and images, please contact Martine Parry, Media and PR Manager in the Fairtrade Foundation press office on 020 7440 7695 or at email@example.com
Notes to Editors
· $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.
· 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 market can get anything as low as 50% of the LBMA fix for their gold in the most extreme circumstances.
· 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.
· Miners can earn an additional premium of 5% of the LBMA fix when they recover gold through ecological sound mining practices that do not use of mercury or cyanide.
· The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. Nearly six in ten consumers (57%) across 24 countriesGreg