We are so excited to be able to now offer Fairtrade gold wedding rings at Just Trade! Choosing your wedding ring is such a special time and choosing Fairtrade can make it that bit more special. Fairtrade gold was launched back in 2011 and ensures the gold that's been used in your jewellery is traceable to a mine that is Fairtrade certified. We've put together some info on Fairtrade gold so you can understand a little more about the process and benefits behind the certification. If this sounds like the perfect chose for you then find out more about booking a consultation with us here.
Working in a Fairtrade mine has lots of benefits for the miners employed there and for the surrounding communities. It ensures that the gold is mined, processed and sold in a responsible and fair way. They key standards that are ensured with Fairtrade certification are:
- FAIR PAY: Certified mines can secure the Farirtrade minimum price for their gold and they also receive a Fairtrade premium on top of this.
- GOOD WORKING CONDITIONS: Miners work in a safe environment, with regular and fair working hours.
- HEALTH & SAFETY: There is a high level of safety practise carried out, including the use of appropriate personal protective equipment and tools. Safe practise is followed when working with chemicals and training is provided for this.
- WORKERS RIGHTS: Miners rights are protected and the formations of workers unions allowed.
- WOMENS EQUAILTY: There is a focus on improved equal rights for woman working within the mining community. Although it is generally considered a male dominated industry, a large proportion of the work force is made up of women, predominantly working at the top of the mine but who carry out crucial parts of the mining process.
- SAFE GUARDING CHILDREN: All mines must meet their countries ILO International Labour Standards and national regulations. No one under the age of 18 is allowed to carry out underground work in the mines and under 15's are not allowed to work on a mining site.
- THE ENVIRONMENT: The use of any chemicals is safely managed and monitored to protect the workers and surrounding community. Consideration of the environmental surroundings is taken and the appropriate measures are taken to help protect this.
ARTISINAL AND SMALL-SCALE MINES (ASM)
Fairtrade gold works exclusively with Artisanal and Small-scale Mines (ASM); this can include individuals, small groups and co-operatives. Fairtrade focuses on working with ASM as it has the highest proportion of workers and yet the lowest rate of gold produced in comparison to Large Scale Mining (LSM). Law and legislation in gold producing countries tends to favour LSM, resulting in less support for ASM. By supporting ASM, there is more possibility for these communities to receive a fair price and improve their quality of life through Faitrade. They are also supported in gaining the legal rights and requirements to mine on their sites which is necessary for Fairtrade accreditation.
The communities that work in mining often face poverty, relying on their day to day earnings for survival resulting in a lack of funds to reinvest into their business and community. They are vulnerable to exploitation from traders that buy gold from them at the site as they are at the bottom of the supply chain and can struggle to secure a fair price. By working together and creating co-operatives and organisations, miners are able to combine their resources and efforts. They can also access additional help from different organisations including Fairtrade to help reach the standards required to gain accreditation. Once the Fairtrade standards are met, the mines are audited by FLOCERT, the independent global certifier for Fairtrade and this continues on a regular basis to ensure continual compliance.
So far the majority of Fairtrade accredited mines have been in countries located in South America, including Peru. Fairtrade is working with additional ASMs in other locations to help support them in training and capacity building to improve their facilities and processes in order to reach the standards for Fairtrade accreditation.
The fair trade premium is available to all those that are Fairtrade certified. This premium is invested in their business or community in the most beneficial way they chose and has to be democratically decided. Miners often use the money to invest in improved equipment and tools for the mine or in the social wellbeing of their community; for example education or water and electricity supply to the town. For examples of how miners have chosen to invest their premium visit the Fairtrade Foundation website.
JUST TRADE WEDDING RINGS
When choosing your ring with us, you can either visit our London studio in Peckham or chat to us over video call if you're not able to make it to the studio. During your consultation we'll talk you through all the different options we have available including colour, carat and finishes. We have a selection of ring samples in yellow and white gold and the different profiles and thickness we offer so you can try on (or visualise if you're on camera) and find what feels right for you. You can also discuss with us any engraving you might like to have just to add that extra special touch! Each ring is hallmarked and has the Fairtrade certification stamp.
If you'd like to enquire about arranging a consultation with us then just email the team at email@example.com or give us a ring at +44 (0)207 358 8500