The founder of Cred Jewellery, Greg Valerio, has been awarded the MBE in the Queens New Years Honour list 2016 for his work in Fairtrade Gold and with gold mining communities in South America and Africa.
Greg Valerio founded Cred Jewellery in 1996 to pioneer responsible mining practices in the jewellery industry. In 2003, Cred established the first transparent supply chain of gold and platinum from Oro Verde in Columbia, and was the first jewellery company to pay social premiums for ecological gold.
Cred Jewellery was sold to Alan Frampton in 2010, allowing Greg Valerio to focus on campaigning for justice and transparency within the jewellery industry.
Valerio comments: “Being awarded an MBE for Fairtrade Gold is truly amazing. I hope it something that moves the idea of Fairtrade in jewellery from being seen as a niche market and only for the small jewellers, and places it front and central for the entire UK profession to take seriously.
Using Fairtrade Gold is very easy and very affordable. As jewellers we can no longer afford to avoid the reality that there is an ethical choice that gets rid of mercury, child labour, human rights abuses and means that small-scale gold mining communities get a fair deal. This award is for everyone who has made this possible. Thank you.”
Alan Frampton, managing director of Cred Jewellery, adds: “A very warm congratulations to Greg for becoming a MBE. This is well deserved for his work in identifying the lack of transparency in the jewellery world. Anyone who has listened to Greg talk – whether in London or in the jungles of Sierra Leone – will know how much work this man has done and how passionately he stands up for the rights of small scale miners around the world. He is a world leader in small scale mining and this recognition demonstrates how important this is for the future success of the UK jewellery industry.”
Chief executive of the CMJ, Willie Hamilton concludes: “Everyone in the jewellery industry should recognise the significance of this award. Greg has rocked the ship of the establishment of this industry for many years and is now being recognised by the establishment. It’s not just recognition of the great work he has done, but recognition that what Greg has fought for is now being recognised as the truth of the exploitation that exists within the jewellery industry.”