Fairtrade and Fairmined gold
Historically, the jewellery industry has not been regarded as a terribly ‘ethical’ one but the exciting thing is that things are changing… and one of the first major changes in gold mining has come from collaboration between the Fairtrade Foundation and the Alliance for Responsible Mining. They have worked together to form a set of standards for artisanal small-scale miners so that the world’s first Fairtrade and Fairmined gold is now on the market.
As with other Fairtrade products, gold certification requires that not only are the miners being treated properly, kept safe and paid a fair wage, but their community benefits too… the Fairtrade premium that is paid for the gold goes back to them so they can decide democratically what to do with it. It could be spent on anything from making a water source safe to funding an orphanage. It means that the community decides what it needs and has the power to act on this decision.
The great thing about this is that, with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold the small scale production methods are exactly the same – the quality of the product at the end is exactly the same as it would have been if it had been made from ‘normal’ gold. The extra costs are often not as much as you’d think either, so it’s always worth considering, even if you think you have a small budget.
Thanks to Harriet Kelsall Jewellery Design Ltd for guest blogging