Hertfordshire-based bespoke jewellery designer Harriet Kelsall played host to a Peruvian gold miner on October 7 who is in the UK to highlight how Fairtrade has boosted his community and saved lives.
Roger Arcos Ponte, from Macdesa mine, told an audience of ethical campaigners, customers and local school children about the difference Fairtrade production standards have delivered for his fellow miners and their families.
Multi-award winning designer and Hot 100 2016 Business Big Shot Harriet Kelsall comments: “Welcoming Roger here today for our Fairtrade Festival is one of the proudest moments of my life. It has been amazing to hear personal accounts of how the Fairtrade premium – the extra income producers in the system receive – is changing lives.”
Producing gold to Fairtrade guidelines means increased health and safety standards and a ban on the use of life-threatening substances, such as mercury, to extract gold. Producers receive a higher price for their gold, enabling them to re-invest in their communities.
Roger was joined by miner’s daughter Dajhanna Zarate De La Cruz, who grew up in a typical Peruvian mining village, where electricity was available for only a few hours a day and there was no running water.
She told pupils from local Fairtrade-accredited school St Joseph’s Catholic Primary in Luton that her childhood involved no TV and doing her homework by candlelight.
Harriet Kelsall Bespoke Jewellery was one of the first companies to be accredited to use Fairtrade gold in its products. It has seen a steady increase in customers who choose to have their jewellery – particularly engagement and wedding rings – made from Fairtrade precious metals.