The Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) marked its 15- year milestone strengthening consumer confidence for the global jewellery industry at its virtual Annual General Meeting (AGM) this week.
The world’s leading standard setting organisation for the entire jewellery and watch supply chain celebrated its 15-year anniversary by launching a new website, and publishing its Progress Report for May 2020 to coincide with the virtual AGM held on May 20.
Upholding responsible standards of integrity remains more important than ever. The RJC’s vision is of a responsible world-wide supply chain that promotes trust in the global jewellery industry. It has set the global standard for the sector since its inception in 2005, with its Code of Practices covering the entire jewellery and watch supply chain from mine to retail. What was a ground-breaking approach then, remains unique today.
Founded by 14 member companies, today the RJC’s membership has grown to more than 1200 companies, across 71 countries. The RJC reported a 32% growth in membership over the last three years in their Progress Report May 2020.
During the AGM David Bouffard, RJC’s chair thanked the executive director, Iris Van der Veken, for her transformational leadership. Bouffard then announced and welcomed new and returning elected appointees to the Board of Directors.
Elections were held for one appointment in each RJC Member Forum. Each elected appointee represents their respective forum in the jewellery and watch supply chain, from mine to retail. The appointments are:
- Stephen Lussier (De Beers Group) – Diamond, coloured stones and/or precious metals producer forum.
- Alok Kumbhat (Jewelex) – Diamond and/or coloured stones traders, cutters and polishers forum.
- Philipp Reisert (C. Hafner) – Precious metals traders, refiners and/or hedgers forum.
- Franziska Gsell (IWC) – Jewellery manufacturer or wholesaler forum.
- Eric de Rocquigny (Van Cleef & Arpels) – Jewellery retailer forum.
- Boaz Lev (Gem Lab Services) – Service industries forum.
- Gaetano Cavalieri (CIBJO) – Trade association forum.
Joining the chair, David Bouffard, and vice-chair, Peter Karakchiev from ALROSA, two additional officers were elected to the Board:
- Feriel Zerouki (De Beers Group) – Honorary Treasurer
- Matthew Kilgariff (Richemont) – Honorary Secretary
The Board and officers will work closely with the RJC’s executive director and management team as the organisation continues to lead responsible practices across the jewellery and watch supply chain.
“Nothing is more important than the continuous improvement in the integrity of the global jewellery supply chain to help strengthen consumer confidence and underpin its future with greater trust,” shares the chair of the RJC. “That’s why it’s an honour to welcome our new and returning Board members, and especially at this particularly challenging time. Their guidance into the future of the RJC will be vital to help further strengthen the RJC’s position as the world’s leading standard setting organisation for the entire jewellery supply chain. In doing so, people around the world will continue to hold jewellery close to their hearts for centuries to come.”
RJC executive director, Iris Van der Veken, adds: “At a time when our industry is under immense pressure, it is vital that responsible standards of integrity are upheld right across the global jewellery and watch supply chain. The topic of responsible business has never been more relevant. We have an important role to play as the voice for the industry on its most critical Environmental, Social and Government (ESG) topics. What unites us and our members is the shared belief that responsible business is good business, without causing harm to people or the planet. This is a process of continuous improvement. We believe in partnerships, by working together with our member companies and all stakeholders across the industry to accelerate collective progress towards the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. I welcome our new and returning Board members and look forward to working closely together to drive this agenda.”