A Background to Fair Trade

gold rings

Fair Trade

The Fairtrade Foundation is a non-governmental not for profit organization. Manufacturers of goods who meet the Fairtrade Organisation’s criteria may display the fair trade logo, see left. Examples of this are coffee, tea , chocolate and cotton. Foundation Jewellery is one of the first jewellers in the UK to be able to sell their ethical gold jewellery accredited with the Fairtrade Foundation. All companies using Fairtrade gold products must:

Pay a price to producers that aims to cover the costs of sustainable production: the Fairtrade Minimum Price.

Pay an additional sum that producers can invest in development: the Fairtrade Premium.

Partially pay in advance, when producers ask for it.

Sign contracts that allow for long-term planning and sustainable production practices.

The supply chain must be transparent and traceable

The supply chain must be able to be independently audited

The Fairtrade organisation has addressed gold sourcing, though no diamond fair trade certification exisits. When it does, Foundation will be at the forefront. You can learn more about Fair Trade at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/

What does Fair Trade Gold mean?

The Fairtrade Labelling Organisation are independent auditors of ethical sourcing. Manufacturers of goods who meet the Fairtrade organisation’s criteria may display the FAIRTRADE Mark, see left. Examples of this are coffee, tea, chocolate and cotton. From February 2011 limited supplies of gold and associated precious metals were able to achieve the same accreditation. Foundation Jewellery is one of the first jewellers in the UK to be able to sell their jewellery with a version of the FAIRTRADE Mark (together with the Fairmined Mark) on the gold itself as an independent stamp.

Miners get a better price for their gold.

Miners receive a Fairtrade social premium to reinvest.

Miners have the opportunity to empower themselves through their organisation. They form groups to give themselves better bargaining power with traders, to get a fairer return for their produce, and gain greater control over the jewellery supply chain.

Certified miners must use safe and responsible practices for management of toxic chemicals in gold recovery, such as mercury and cyanide. Chemicals have to be reduced to a minimum, and where possible eliminated over the years. Miners earn an additional ecological premium when they recover gold through gravity only.

Fairtrade gold will not contribute to conflict or violence. On the contrary, where certified organisations are located in conflict areas, increased economic stability, traceability and transparency from sale of their certified gold may help contribute to peace-building.

Receive a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price: This is set at 95% of the London Bullion Market Association’s (LBMA’s), fixing at the FOB export point

Receive a Fairtrade premium payment, which is democratically reinvested in community projects and improving miners’ operations. This is calculated as 10% of the applicable LBMA fixing

For Ecological Gold (gold extracted without the use of chemicals) this is calculated as 15% of the applicable LBMA fixing

Develop long term business relations with their commercial partners

Fulfilling the Fairtrade standard means that certified miners:

Have developed democratic and accountable organisations and formalised all their operations

Are using safe working practices including the management of toxic chemicals, such as mercury and cyanide, used in the gold recovery process

Are respectful with their environment

Recognize the rights of women miners

You can learn more about Fair Trade gold at http://www.fairtrade.org.uk/gold/