National Association of Goldsmiths launches ethics working group


6th August 2010

News Release

NAG TO FORM ETHICS WORKING COMMITTEE

The National Association of Goldsmiths (NAG) will form an ethics working committee following the announcement by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) and the Association of Responsible Mining (ARM) to introduce Fair Mined and Fair Trade standards for gold and precious metals.

The NAG has announced the move which will see Greg Valerio, founder of CRED Jewellery and co-founder of The Alliance for Responsible Mining and Vivien Johnston of Fifi Bijoux Luxury Ethical Jewellery, work in conjunction with the NAG’s Board to create a valuable resource for NAG members.

Enabling Relationships

Presently, creating a transparent supply chain which upholds positive ethics at every level is a complex process and one which remains inaccessible for the majority of jewellers.

Fairly traded, as well as socially and environmentally responsible resources already exist. However, the miners often lack the methods to connect with western jewellers.

Throughout the jewellery industry, a great will has been noted to work with these mining communities and to build their production capacities through enabling relationships.

“The partnership between small mining communities and UK small businesses seems a natural one, however both require some support and structure to maximise the benefits to each’ said Johnston.

Micheal Hoare, CEO of the NAG says “We are delighted to announce the formation of an ethics working committee.  We hope that it will be a valuable resource for members looking to become part of an ethical supply chain”.

Johnston and Valerio have been working independently for several years to promote Fair Trade standards in Jewellery.

Johnston has been working on auditable standards and traceability formed under the British Ethical Jewellery Association (BEJA) 2007. Whilst in 2009, Valerio ‘a fair trade jeweller and activist’ was appointed by the Fairtrade Labelling Organisation (FLO) and is currently working with Fairtrade Foundation in the run up to the launch of certified gold in the UK, in Feb 2011.

Valerio commented that ‘Some of the biggest reputational risks the jewellery trade faces today are directly linked to our supply chains. The NAG supply chain ethics working group has been established to research, review and resource jewellers in the UK with practical ways they can positively tackle the human rights and environmental issues linked to our industry”

Retailers to Benefit

It is hoped that retailers will benefit from the NAG coalition which aims to support businesses in the transition to a traceable and ethical supply chain .

This significant shift towards positive ethics is set to shape the future of the UK jewellery industry.

For further information please contact Faye Hadlow, Information Manager at the NAG, on 020 7613 4445 Option 4 or faye@jewellers-online.org

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