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Sunday, 23 September 2012

Ethical Metalsmith needs you!

September 19, 2012
We need your help.

The Alliance for Responsible Mining and Fairtrade International have put forth proposed standards that call for selling Fairtrade and Fairmined gold that is mixed with gold coming from other “responsible” sources.  You can review the proposal on pages 86 to 89 via this link.  

In sum, the document calls for gold that is Fairtrade and Fairmined to be “mass balanced” or in the words of the consultation paper ‘diluted’ with other gold from “responsible” sources. The gold in jewelry products would be only 85% traceable to a Fairtrade mine. The proposal also creates two new product categories. “Made with Fairtrade and Fairmined gold” would be 50% from certified mines, and “contains Fairtrade and Fairmined gold,” which would be at least 10% certified fine gold content. 

At Fair Jewelry Action and Ethical Metalsmiths, we see Fairtrade gold, the most precious gold in the world, as a transformational product.  The power of this gold lies in its story, and its purity.   

If you agree with our views, sign the letter below and email it to us by September, 26 at action@ethicalmetalsmiths.org The official ARM/FLO comment period ends on Oct. 7, 2012 and we will compile your signatures and forward the letter by the deadline.

Thank you for your help.

Christina Miller, Ethical Metalsmiths
Marc Choyt, Fair Jewelry Action, USA
Greg Valerio, Fair Jewellery Action, UK
PS: If you are interested, read Marc’s editorial response to the response to our first letters from ARM and the Responsible Jewellery Council.

An Open Letter to The Alliance For Responsible Mining and Fairtrade International
Dear Alliance For Responsible Mining and Fairtrade International,

As jewelers and other members of civil society, we strongly oppose one aspect of the current proposed standards, which changes the product composition component to allow mass balancing or dilution to take place. These proposed changes to the standard are described in Section 6, put forth July 2012, in the Fairtrade and Fairmined Standard for Artisanal and Small Scale Mining Document.

The proposed standard to mix Fairtrade and Fairmined gold with other gold will severely damage the FT&FM gold brand and create confusion in the marketplace.  It will also undermine the confidence in the product.   We are also concerned with how the mass balancing might negatively impact the FT&FM brand as it develops not only with gold, but with other mined products emerging into the market.  As jewelers, who deal with customers every day of the week, we understand the market better than anyone else.  At this juncture, we urge in the strongest possible terms that Fairtrade gold be kept pure.

We urge ARM and FLO to direct more efforts toward supporting jewelers and strengthening a consumer campaign to build on the great success in the existing market.  The certified FT&FM Sotrami miners in Peru received £75,000 ($120,00 USD) of premium from gold purchases by jewelers in 2011 alone.  Our greatest continued success will only be achieved if we all work united, in a concerted effort to support FT&FM small scale miners to bring pure, traceable Fairtrade and Fairmined gold to a vibrant market. 


Country of Origin

NOTE: Ethical Metalsmiths and Fair Jewelry Action are working together to bring certified Fairtrade and Fairmined gold to the US.

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