CEO of Responsible Jewellery Council Responds To Letter From Ethical Metalsmiths and Fair Jewelry ActionJuly 30th, 2012
NOTE TO READERS: This post is the response that EM and FJA received from the Responsible Jewellery Council to their open letter signed by 154 jewelers and interested parties.
I reply to the Open Letter which Ethical Metalsmiths and Fair Jewelry Action sent to the Responsible Jewellery Council and the Alliance for Responsible Mining, which I received by email on Friday, 6th July, 2012.
In your letter, you cite concerns that the relationship between the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the Responsible Jewellery Council might have deleterious impacts on the jewellers currently selling, and those interested in selling Fairtrade and Fairmined (FT/FM) gold in the future. You also stated you are concerned for the strength of the Fairtrade and Fairmined brand, the enhancement of the quality of life for artisanal and small-scale miners and the expansion of responsible mining practices everywhere.
The issues you raise in your letter are centred on the rules and requirements for the supply chain of Fairtrade and Fairmined labelled gold. As such, this is not in the hands of the Responsible Jewellery Council but, quite rightly, under the sole control of the two institutions that govern Fairtrade and Fairmined gold, namely the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the Fairtrade Foundation.
I note that Lina Villa, Executive Director Alliance for Responsible Mining, and Chris Davis, Director of Producer Partnerships, Fairtrade Foundation, have jointly responded to your letter and provided a question and answer paper, detailing their views on the benefits to artisanal miners that will stem from the proposed formal recognition of Part A of the Fairtrade and Fairmined Standard by the RJC as a ‘Responsible Mining Standard’ for artisanal producers.
As Ms Villa and Mr Davis state in their response: “The recognition by RJC is intended to exemplify Fairtrade and Fairmined certification of artisanal and small scale mining organisations as best practice to the industry and provide increased market access for artisanal and small-scale miners to sell to RJC members.”
I commend the Alliance for Responsible Mining and the Fairtrade Foundation material to you.
If you have any further questions regarding RJC’s formal recognition of Part A of the Fairtrade and Fairmined Standard as a ‘Responsible Mining Standard’ for artisanal producers, please do not hesitate to contact me.
In the interests of transparency, I will place our correspondence on this matter on the RJC website www.responsiblejewellery.com .
Michael L Rae
Chief Executive Officer
21st July, 2012