GOLDSMITHS REGISTRATION SCHEME
The Goldsmith scheme was launched a few years back as a way for smaller jewellers and independent goldsmiths who wish to work with Fairtrade gold but for whom the responsibilities of licensing and certification are not really suitable or practical.
Element Jewellery is an approved jeweller on the Goldsmiths Registration Scheme (no longer a Fairtrade license holder). The Fairtrade Gold we source is from a registered supplier who purchases their precious metal from a manufacturer who is a Flocert audited Master License Holder. The metal is sourced from one of 3 Fairtrade approved gold mines:
ID 37645 Cooperativa Minera Limata in Peru
ID 32685 Micodepro Development Group in Kenya
ID 26612 Minera Aurifera Cuatro de Enero S.A.(MACDESA) in Peru
In conventional gold supply chains, newly mined and recycled gold is mixed when it is refined. This makes it impossible to tell the origin of metal in an item of jewellery or other gold product.
Fairtrade Gold can be traced from the mine through the refining process and into finished products. This is backed up by documentation of all transactions between miners and licensed jewellers. It means consumers and jewellers know that their gold comes from a socially and environmentally responsible source.
Fairtrade Gold miners receive a Fairtrade Premium of $2,000 per kilogramme of fine gold, on top of the guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price. They can invest this money as they choose, whether that’s in their community, or to improve their business and work their way out of poverty, building better futures.
Certified Fairtrade Gold miners receive a minimum of 95 percent of the internationally agreed price of gold as it is traded on the markets. The remaining five percent goes to other participants in the gold supply chain.
High levels of poverty in small-scale mining communities mean children are often forced to work to help increase their family income. The International Labour Organisation lists mining as one of the worst forms of child labour because it is dangerous and demanding.
Only mines that do not use child labour can be Fairtrade certified. Miners must put a Child ProtectionPolicy in place and work to prevent child labour.
Gold can be mined in countries blighted by armed conflict and human rights abuses. Unless supply chains are properly regulated, gold mined in these conditions can enter global supply chains.
Fairtrade does not certify mines that contribute to conflict and human rights abuses. But we do audit responsible mining in conflict-affected areas, making it possible to source gold responsibly from affected regions, traceable back to the mine.
In non-Fairtrade small-scale gold mines, miners can work in dangerous conditions with little or no health and safety equipment. Accident rates are six or seven times higher than in large-scale mining. Miners carry out physically demanding work in unsupported pits and poorly-lit underground tunnels.
In Fairtrade certified mines, the health and safety of miners is a priority. Miners need to use protective equipment and must have received safety and first aid training.
CHEMICALS AND ENVIRONMENT
In non-Fairtrade small-scale gold mines, miners extract the precious metal using toxic chemicals such as mercury, which is harmful for human health and the environment.
Fairtrade Standards restrict the use of mercury and other chemicals, prohibit handling them without protective gloves and burning them in homes or the open air. Fairtrade provides advice and support to miners to reduce how much mercury they use and how to manage chemicals correctly. Fairtrade certified mines also follow local laws which protect the environment, and are required to restore mine sites.