Greg Valerio Bio

Winner of The Observer Ethical Awards Global campaigner 2011.

Voted by The Retail Jeweller 2011 as one of the Top 100 innovators in the UK Jewellery Industry

Maverick, pain in the arse, social entrepreneur, out of the box, radical, passionate, emotional, unmanageable, direct, to the point, breath of fresh air, rebel, visionary, scruffy, non-conformist, looks like a bum, economic terrorist and dangerous bastard have all been used to describe Greg and his commitment to human rights, ecological responsibility and fair trade in the jewellery sector.

Current Projects

Making TROUBLE – Fighting for Fair Trade Jewellery.

In September 2013, Lion Hudson published Making Trouble, an auto biography telling Greg’s unique role in the catalysing of the ethical jewellery movement and the creation of Fairtrade Gold. Available from all good retail book stores, Amazon or from Valeriobooks.com

FAIRTRADE GOLD & PEACE GOLD

Greg is currently working with The Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) co-ordinating their International Gold programme and Peace Direct in eastern Congo to support the establishment of a Peace Gold programme with ex-combatants.

UK JEWELLERS ETHICAL COMMITTEE.

In 2011, alongside ethical jeweller Vivien Johnston, The National Association of Goldsmiths, British Jewellers Association and Gemmological Association of Great Britain, he initiated and helped to establish the UK’s first UK trade association ethical working group. With the aim of working across all the disciplines in the jewellery trade, educating on ethical performance, to aid the improved ethical output from the UK jewellery sector as a whole. In simple terms the UK Jewellery trade aspires to be the most ethical jewellery market in the world, the working group can help this aspiration become a reality.

General info and history.

Greg is a fair trade jeweller with a background in human rights and environmental advocacy. He has been a pioneer and foundational to the international development and realisation of fair trade jewellery and traceable supply chains from mine to retail. Greg is passionate about the jewellery industries to transform lives amongst small-scale miners through the power of mine to market traceability and transparency. Jewellery is an iconic luxury purchase that source is the opposite extreme. This reality needs to change and is the premise for all of his advocacy and campaign work inside and outside the jewellery trade. He is a regular columnist for The National Association of Goldsmiths Jewellery Magazine, writer, public speaker on Ethics in Jewellery and is consulting with a number of groups in Africa keen to use the wealth of their minerals to bring peace and prosperity to their communities.

He is the founder of CRED Jewellery and co-founder of Fair Jewellery Action.

He initiated and currently serves on the British Jewellers Association and National Association of Goldsmiths ethics working group.

He acts as an adviser to the Diamond Development Initiative.

Greg also blogs at Fair Jewellery Action

Christian Relief Education & Development

In 1991 aged 24 following trips to Tanzania and Ethiopia, he started CRED a development education network on the south coast of England. Working with young adults in schools and colleges he became a regular facilitator of young activists in the field of human rights, the environment and fair trade (economic justice for the poor).

CRED Jewellery

In 1996 Greg started CRED Jewellery the pioneering fine jewellery company. Cred Jewellery was the UK and Europe’s first jewellery company to retail fair trade green gold and platinum jewellery collections. His stated aim within the jewellery sector is;

“To make it culturally unacceptable to sell an item of jewellery that is not independently certified as socially and environmentally responsible”.

Some of the highlights of his work has been the publication in 2003 of ‘Towards an Ethical Jewellery Business’, the introduction in 2004 of fully certified green gold wedding rings to the UK in partnership with Oro Verde. In 2008 CRED Sources was established as a bullion platform for fair trade and recycled metals. In 2009 launched the worlds first high street jewellery boutique in Chichester (UK) that is fully traceable and recycled across all its jewellery collections. In September of the same year with social objectives of the business achieved he left CRED Jewellery with the aim of returning to his advocacy and campaigning roots to continue to catalyse the broader movement for certified fair trade jewellery both in the UK and internationally.

Gold Panning Sierra Leone

 Oro Verde

After visiting this pioneering small-scale mining initiative in 2003/4, he continues to advocate for their social and environmental mining in the rain forests of Colombia.  Oro Verde support indigenous sustainable mining methods for gold and platinum that do not use cyanide or mercury and offer 100% transparency on gold.

Ameriko’s Green Gold mine in Colombia.

 Alliance for Responsible Mining.

In 2005 alongside Catalina Cock and Ervin Renteria, he co-founded The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), an international organisation seeking to lobby for small-scale mining communities around the world.

Greenland

Illegally Confiscated Ruby Greenland

Following an invitation in 2008 by Inuit small-scale ruby miners in Greenland, he witnessed first hand the colonial marginalisation that was taking place at the hands of the Danish Government and the Canadian Mining Company True North Gems. He has been active in supporting the indigenous people’s right to mine, own, transform and sell their Ruby without fear of prosecution by the authorities. It is still illegal in Greenland to pick up ruby and take it home.

Fair Jewellery Action

Basic CMYK

In 2010 with US ethical jeweller Marc Choyt, he co-founded FJA whose aim is to make ethically sourced jewellery the only moral choice for consumer and supplier. FJA enables jewellers and jewellery businesses to commit to transparency and traceability in the jewellery supply chain from source to product. It also acts as a voice to marginalised communities who are effected by injustices around mining as a whole. He has co-authored with Cally Oldershaw the Red & Green Book, an educational tool aimed at jewellers who wish to start the journey towards ethical practice.

Fairtrade Foundation UK

During 2010 Greg worked exclusively with the Fairtrade Foundation in London, assisting them in developing the commercial and consumer facing side of the International Fairtrade Gold supply chain. He continues to be an  advocate and supporter of the work of Fairtrade as an expression of economic justice for the poor.

 Weather Vane Project – Chichester Cathedral

Working with the Dean of Chichester Cathedral and CRED Jewellery, he was instrumental to delivering the world’s first application of Fairtrade Gold onto a public building.

Greg Valerio, Rt Rev Nicholas Frayling, Chris Davis

In conclusion.

He is happily married to Ruth with two girls Mali-Grace and Jemba-May. His personal interests and practices are enjoying his Triumph Bonneville, Sea Kyacking, researching and practicing indigenous Celtic Christian spirituality and living as simple a life as is possible given his love of Indian food.

e-mail: greg@gregvalerio.com

skype: gregvalerio

9 thoughts on “Greg Valerio Bio

  1. Dear Sir,

    I have been recommended you by Jack Ogden. I’m am doing a documentary for MA Film Making at Kingston Uni. I am a Gemmologist so I do understand the profession and the marketplace. The particular topic is ‘Exploitation in the Ruby Industry’ Would it be possible to meet with you and discuss things regarding this.

    Many Thanks

    Ian Plantagenet

  2. Dear Sir,
    When I read your business is interesting. I remember my father. I’m Bernard Valerio from Philippines. Now I’m working in a yacht here Barcelona, Spain. I was working in Alaska too in a cruise ship. The reason why I do interested in all your work, because before I work here as a sailor after my father passed away. My father had a jewelry making and I was working as a jewelry appraiser in his two pawnshops in our country for five years. I had experienced to attend two seminars about jewelries. I wish one day I will know more about this business like your sir. God bless… Bernard V.

  3. Dear Mr. Valerio,

    My name is Mariella Bloom. I am communications officer at the Otro Diseño Foundation for Cultural Cooperation and Development. We are organizers of major exhibitions on the converging fields of contemporary art and design, with a strong emphasis on contemporary jewellery (such as Walking the Gray Area http://www.grayareasymposium.org/blog ). We would like to make contact with you regarding an exhibition plan of a new exhibition. I include my contact information. I would appreciate if you could get in touch with me so I can let you know about the project.

    Kind regards,

    Mariella Bloom

    • Dear Mariella,

      Thank you for your enquiry. Please let me know the details of your event. I would be happy to speak at it and contribute to the ethical component. I would expect my fees and costs to be covered. Greg

  4. Dear Mr. Valerio.

    First and foremost, thank you for your effort in promoting sustainability in the mining sector. I am a Norwegian master student in the final year of my MSc in Development Management and my thesis is:
    The potential and the anticipated developmental implications of including associated precious metals in the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme.

    As it seems that you are highly competent in the subject, I would appreciate it if you would allow me to make an interview with you . If so, please send me details on how you prefer this to happen (Email, Skype etc.).

    Best regards,
    Mr. Joakim Bergan Eriksen

  5. Hey Greg you are very cute. So, as i am a Jeweller in Sydney, where do i find fairtrade gems to purchase here ? Also where do i buy FTFM metal in Australia ? Is anyone producing second hand refined gold and silver in quantity. Thanks, Lou.

    • Hi Louise,

      I am not sure Fairtrade Gold is available in Australia. I suggest you contact the Fairtrade labeling organisation in Australia and speak to them about introducing it to the Australian market. Do get back to me if you do not get any joy as I can at least put you in touch with CRED Sources who can sell you some bullion product. Greg

  6. Pingback: Revive Day Away: our contributors | revive leeds

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s