Fairtrade & ARM part ways for simpler metal labels

Partnership means Fairtrade Fairmined label will be phased out.

Fairtrade International and The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) are set to terminate their formal partnership following a review of the current Fairtrade Fairmined system.

The announcement follows an "extensive review" of the system after the jewellery market called for a simplification of the existing Fairtrade and Fairmined label to facilitate market growth.

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It also comes at the natural end of a three-year pilot partnership with ARM and means that the dual label of Faitrade Fairmined for precious metals will be phased out during 2013.

Fairtrade International said the dual labelling of gold, silver and platinum will now become "more straightforward", as the dual label is replaced by the Fairtrade mark only, something it believes is more consumer friendly.

Fairtrade International said the move will also help increase jewellers’ participation in the Fairtrade gold scheme which in turn will help bring maximum benefits back to miners.

Harriet Lamb, chief executive of Fairtrade International, said: "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.

"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.”

While both partners will phase out the dual label through 2013 they will continue to offer respective label certification programmes separately.

To date Fairtrade and Fairmined certification has allowed the Peruvian community of Santa Filomena to invest in improved healthcare, primary school facilities and new computers for the senior school. The community also opened a not-for-profit shop enabling the 500-strong community can buy food at reasonable prices.

Chris Davis, head of product services Africa & Middle East at Fairtrade International, said: “We are very proud of our achievements in the mining sector to date. 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."

Fairtrade International and ARM jointly launched Fairtrade and Fairmined gold in the UK in 2011, closely followed by launches in other global markets.

Both Fairtrade International and ARM aimed to create better conditions for artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM), empowering miner’s organisations and raising awareness of issues in the ASM sector and providing businesses with a traceable source of responsibly mined and fairly traded gold.



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