The use of Fairtrade Gold and Precious Metals enables us to trace the source of the material used in your piece of jewellery right back to the earth where it came from and the miners that mined it. Fairtrade Gold and Precious Metals offer a lifeline to artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities.
The passion of the Fairtrade Foundation is to see transparency, traceability, truth and justice embedded into the livelihoods of the millions of artisanal and small-scale miners across the world. Small-scale miners work in remote, marginalised and harsh conditions, doing back-breaking work to scrape a living. They are consistently exploited by middle men, their access to markets is limited and they rarely receive a fair price for their gold.
Artisanal miners find it hard to access legal mining rights, pushing them into running informal and illegal operations, just to put daily bread on the table. They work in hazardous conditions with little or no health and safety measures in place. The unskilled, unregulated and uneducated use of toxic chemicals such as mercury poses a sever risk the health of the miners, their communities and their environment.
Achieving Fairtrade certification requires small-scale mining organisations to meet rigorous Fairtrade Standards on working conditions, child labour, women’s rights, clean technology, health and safety, organisational management, democratic decision-making, transparency and traceability of their mining operations and responsible environmental management, to produce a gold product that can be stamped as Fairtrade.
In return for their efforts, miners gain international market access and receive a guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price of 95% LBMA plus a Fairtrade Premium of $2,000 per kilogram to invest in community or business development projects.
Jewellery and other gold products that are created from certified gold and precious metals are stamped with the unique and exclusive Fairtrade Gold Stamp. This Stamp indicates that the gold you are buying is fully traceable from the certified mine to the consumer.
Images courtesy of Nigel Wright and The Fairtrade Foundation