A Ugandan Fairtrade gold miner is set to visit Birmingham Jewellery Quarter manufactory Hockley Mint as part of a UK visit to meet the businesses supporting gold miners and their families in East Africa.
Josephine Aguti, a miner at Uganda’s first Fairtrade gold mine, will visit the UK to be part of a press conference and showcase centred on Fairtrade Gold jewellery on October 15 in London, before travelling to Hockley Mint in Birmingham on October 16.
Working as part of a team of women and men at one of the first artisanal mines to be certified Fairtrade in September 2015, Aguti will see where the gold they mine is transformed from raw product to wedding rings and bridal jewellery for the UK market.
Aguti will take a tour of Hockley Mint’s manufactory in the Quarter where she will meet staff members and see the various stages of jewellery manufacture. There will also be time for Aguti to tell employees at Hockley Mint about her own work and life, and the role Fairtrade has played in improving the health and safety, education and livelihoods of East African miners and their families.
Speaking of Aguti’s visit, Hockley Mint managing director Gary Wroe, said: “Myself and the team at Hockley Mint are looking forward to Josephine’s visit, along with representatives of Fairtrade Africa and Fairtrade UK. This summer, I had the opportunity of visiting a Tanzanian gold mine very similar to that where Josephine works, and it was truly fascinating to see how gold is mined in a small, artisanal way. So, we are sure her visit will be equally interesting, to see how East African Fairtrade gold is turned into beautiful pieces of jewellery that are worn and loved for life.
Aguti, along with Hockley Mint sales director Judith Lockwood, will take part in a special press conference focused on Fairtrade gold at Kettner’s in Soho, London, on October 15. Other speakers at the press conference will include Gonzaga Mungai of Fairtrade Africa, ethical businesswoman Liz Earle, CEO of the National Association of Jewellers Michael Rawlinson, and Alan Frampton, managing director of ethical jewellery business and Fairtrade gold wholesaler Cred Jewellery.