100 designer-makers apply for Fairtrade status

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New Registration Scheme designed to make buying ethical metals easier.

One hundred small jewellers and goldsmiths have applied to be registered Fairtrade as part of the Goldsmiths Registration Scheme – a move that could deliver $100,000 (£59,327) back to miners in Fairtrade premiums.

The Goldsmiths Registration scheme was launched three months ago and since then 100 designer-makers have applied to be registered as Fairtrade Goldsmiths.

The scheme gives small jewellers the chance to purchase certified and ethically sourced gold and silver from five ‘master licensees’ in a semi-finished form, such as sheet, wire, tube or casting grain.

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The benefits of the scheme include free annual registration and limited administration. In return those joining agree to abide by certain terms and conditions that include only using pre-determined marketing materials and agreeing to the annual limits of 500g of gold or platinum or 2kgs of silver. Finished product does not carry the Fairtrade stamp.

Fairtrade gold commercial account manager Reena Agarwal, said: “It’s a great time for small jewellers to engage with Fairtrade. The ethical jewellery market is rapidly growing and the Fairtrade Mark is the most widely recognized ethical certification label globally. Fairtrade has a strong brand profile with high awareness; good top level understanding of fair prices paid to producers and is very well trusted.

“Fairtrade gold and precious metals is a ground breaking initiative that offers a lifeline to poor and exploited small-scale miners around the world. It is the best way to communicate the benefits of responsibly sourced metal to customers. As well as our registered jewellers, we also have 50 full licensees buying larger volumes of gold who are permitted to stamp their jewellery.”

Since becoming Fairtrade certified, mining groups surviving in arid desert landscapes have been able to invest in projects for waters, electricity and the improvement of education and health projects including study and sports grants for students.

Groups have also improved safety procedures and equipment and introduced new technologies to advance production methods and increase the amount of gold they can extract.

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