As many of you will know, I resigned my position as one of the founding Board members of the Alliance for Responsible Mining last March 2010. Due to a number of queries I have received as to why, I am publishing my resignation letter in full, as well as ARM’s press release announcing the new appointment of Toby Pomeroy who is an excellent choice. I continue to believe that ARM plays a very important role in the development and delivery of certified fairtrade and fairmined gold to the international community. Their dedication and devotion to the cause of small-scale miners around the world is exemplary in process and delivery. To review the work of ARM please visit www.communitymining.org
Letter of Resignation
To The Board of the Alliance for Responsible Mining.
Date 24th March 2010.
From Greg Valerio Vice Chair of The Alliance for Responsible Mining.
Dear Board members of ARM and to the ARM Stakeholder Alliance.
I am writing to announce my formal resignation from the board of ARM as of the Board meeting in March 2010. As many of you will know I have been considering my position in relationship to ARM and my role for some time now and in the light of new developments for me personally and professionally I have decided that now is the best time for me to step into other challenges.
I am very proud to have been a founding board member and to have worked with such a diverse group of people in making, what for me, has been the dream of Fairtrade Gold from the mid 90’s a reality. What we have achieved must not be underestimated and I consider it to be the greatest evolution in the gold story in modern history and I will continue to tell it with great pride.
I have learned a lot from working with ARM and hold a very special place in my heart for the small-scale miners whose daily sweat and muscle is the anointing on the justice that we all seek. You will always be a part of my story and for that I am very grateful.
In resigning from ARM I wish to assure you that I will continue to act as a willing advocate for responsible small scale mining, our fairtrade/fairmined process and also for the mission of ARM which I have been privileged to have co-founded and have shaped.
As a fair trade jeweller and activist I will remain active in the ethical fair trade world of jewellery and responsible mining. But my role now must evolve again, as there is still much to be done, pioneered and initiated in order to see the transformation of an entire market sector. In order to achieve this I must retain my freedom, independence and facilitate as required.
In resigning my role as Vice-Chair and member of the board I would like to make one final request that my vacancy be filled by a miner, for whom this very process exists to benefit. A fitting legacy I believe and I hope you agree.
I wish to thank you all for your dedication to this cause and I trust as our paths cross in the future we will be able to toast our collective successes.
May the wind always be at our backs as we keep walking…
ARM Press Release.
For immediate release: May 25th 2010
US ETHICAL JEWELLER TOBY POMEROY TO JOIN ARM’S BOARD OF DIRECTORS
The Alliance for Responsible Mining elected Toby Pomeroy as new Board member from among four very well-
known ethical jewellers from the US and the UK
ARM warmly thanks Greg Valerio, UK Fair trade jeweller and ARM founding member, for his valuable contributions
while serving on the ARM Board.
ARM welcomes Dr. Maria Laura Barreto, as its new Chair, and thanks Catalina Cock-Duque for her leadership and
commitment as Chair since its creation.
Over the past 5 years the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) developed and tested the first standards for gold from
artisanal and small-scale miners (ASM). In January ARM and FLO announced their historical partnership for Fairtrade and
Fairmined certified gold from ASM, and in March 2010 the standards were published. ARM works with organised miners
in Latin America (Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru), and is beginning to extend its work to Southeast and West Africa.
Following an open call to its Stakeholder Alliance to nominate jewellers or traders to join its Board of Directors, four high
level nominations were received by ARM. We wish to extend our sincere thanks to Bill Gallagher from Lori Bonn Design
(USA), Eric Grossberg from Brilliant Earth (USA), and Vivien Johnson of Fifi Bijoux (Scotland) for accepting nominations, and
are very honoured by their continued interest and commitment to our mission. British Fair Trade Jeweller, Greg Valerio
who previously held one of the trading seats on the Board, is now leading on market development for Fairtrade and
Fairmined gold at the Fairtrade Foundation in the UK.
In this new phase of development, ARM warmly welcomes US ethical jeweller Toby Pomeroy of TOBY POMEROY Fine
Jewellery to its Board of Directors. Pomeroy brings to ARM his recognised leadership among the US ethical jewellery
movement and his knowledge of the US jewellery supply chain and its key players. ARM looks forward to working with
Toby as it extends its work in the US in the near future.
Toby Pomeroy has been a jewellery designer since 1967 and has pioneered a movement toward sustainably-sourced
jewellery in the North American jewellery market. A talented artisan as well as creative visionary, he has been recognized
by Jewellers’ Circular Keystone Magazine as one of the 7 most influential designers in 2008. Toby has been a key leader in
the socially responsible jewellery movement since 2005 when he inspired two of the largest precious metals suppliers in
the U.S, Hoover & Strong and Stuller, Inc., to offer reclaimed gold and silver to their clients as an alternative to
unsustainably mined metals.
His leadership on environmental issues in the jewellery business has garnered coverage in publications such as TIME,
Vanity Fair, Elle, Shape, and Oprah. Toby was featured in the Sundance Channel TV documentary “Eco-trip Gold” in 2009.
In 2010, his design studio received a top “A” grade in an industry-wide report generated by Washington, D.C.-based
Earthworks’ “No Dirty Gold” campaign.
ARM is very pleased to announce the designation of Dr. Maria Laura Barreto, as its new chair of the Board. Laura will lead
ARM through the challenges of global growth, and brings with her deep knowledge of the mining sector and expertise in
public policies for enabling responsible ASM. Laura has been a member of the ARM Board since 2008.
Maria Laura Barreto has 28 years of experience in the field of the extractive industries in particular in mining and
hydrocarbons sectors. Independent of the role that she has taken on: consultant, researcher, professor or advisor to
policy makers, she has been working on the development of mining and environmental public policy that effectively
contributes for the equitable and sustainable development of mineral rich countries. As part of this challenge, in the late
1980s, she started to work with Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, one of most important economic sectors in terms of its
contribution as an employment generator but also one of the most marginalized economic sectors in developing
Dr. Barreto’s long-term commitment is to help this sector to overcome some of the problems that have been an obstacle
to prevent Artisanal and Small Scale Mining from playing a more substantial role in poverty alleviation. Maria Laura
Barreto has a degree in Law, Master degree in Law and International Relations and PhD in Mining Engineering. She has
worked in several countries in Latin America, North America, Asia and in Africa, the continent where she was born.
The ARM Board also includes two miners, Manuel Reinoso (ASM leader from Peru) and Ervin Renteria (ASM leader from
Green Gold), Patrick Schein from S&P Trading (french based precious metal trader and refiner); Dr. Wilson Mutagwaba
(ASM expert from Tanzania), and Catalina Cock-Duque (Amichoco NGO in Colombia).
– ENDS –
+44 020 3286 0579
Maria Laura Barreto
Notes to Editors
1. ARM is an international multi-sector governed initiative created to enhance equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale
mining (ASM) communities. Working with miners and NGO´s ARM developed the original Standard Zero upon which ARM and FLO
later developed the FAIRTRADE AND FAIRMINED Standards for Gold from Artisanal and Small Scale Mining, including associated
precious metals. Through site based and product certification and corresponding market incentives, ARM supports small-scale and
artisanal mining organisations and communities to meet criteria for responsible social, labour, environmental, and trading
practices, and does advocacy work with governments for improved rights for ASM. ARM is committed to social justice and
environmental responsibility as the values driving the transformation of ASM.
2. ARM’s vision is for ASM to become a formalised, organised and profitable activity that uses efficient technologies, and is socially
and environmentally responsible, that increasingly develops within a framework of good governance, legality, participation and
respect for diversity, it increases its contribution to the generation of decent work, local development, poverty reduction and social
peace in our nations, driven by a growing consumer demand for sustainable minerals and ethical jewellery.