Miners’ initiative aims to bury practices tarnishing jewellery industry


Three Peruvian mining representatives will speak at UK events as part of a nationwide campaign called ‘I DO’, with the aim of stamping out practices that have tarnished the jewellery industry’s reputation and promoting awareness of fairtrade gold.

Fairtrade gold miner Roger Arcos Ponte, from Macdesa gold mine, and Tatianna Vasquez and Dajhanna Zarate, beneficiaries of Sotrami mine, will address three conferences in Bangor, North Wales, Chippenham in Wiltshire and Leicester in the East Midlands between 30 September and 9 October.

The conferences will be attended by leading activists from fairtrade’s network of 10,000 local campaigners, including towns, schools, universities and faith groups. The mining representatives will explain to activists how the chunks of ore containing precious gold and silver help keep communities above the breadline.

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The gold miners’ speeches are designed to inspire, motivate and equip community networks to reach out to jewellers on their high street to ask them to sell fairtrade gold. They will also promote the buying of fairtrade gold jewellery in their community as a way for people to use the power of their purchase to make a difference to the lives of miners.

As part of the tour, the miner representatives will also speak at the annual UK Jewellery Conference, visit a traditional Welsh gold mine and attend events marking the 20th anniversary of brand Cred Jewellery.

Kevin McCullough, head of campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation, said: “Gold: a symbol of love, power and wealth. Look behind the glitz, and the reality is not so glamorous. Gold mining is one of the most dangerous, precarious, and unfairly treated jobs in the world.

“Fairtrade gold stops exploitation. It can be traced from the mine through the refining process. This is backed up by documentation of all the transactions between miner and licensed jewellers. It means consumers and jewellers know that fairtrade gold comes from a socially and environmentally responsible, source which has economic benefits for miners.”

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