Small-scale miners are set to win as (Fairtrade) Max Havelaar Switzerland launches jewellery made from Fairtrade gold in Switzerland today.
Switzerland is the hub of the global gold market where approximately 70% of all gold-refining takes place, so introducing Fairtrade gold there is a truly landmark move which will deliver significant social and environmental benefits back to miners – an added touch of sparkle.
The first Fairtrade gold jewellery collections have been launched by Coop City and Christ Uhren & Schmuck, both parts of the Coop Group. The gold has been mined by Fairtrade gold mine SOTRAMI located in southern Peru.
Artisanal and small-scale mining is the second biggest employer after agriculture and more than 16 million people around the world directly depend on mining for their livelihood. It is characterised by high levels of poverty, marginalisation and exploitation. Conventional small scale mining is highly labour intensive and often poorly regulated and the miners and workers can be exposed to hazardous conditions. In addition, they usually receive only a modest price and struggle to make a living.
Fairtrade is committed to improving the welfare of people and the planet in small-scale gold mining sector where people urgently need safer working conditions, fair market access, environmental protection and transparency in trading.
Today, (Fairtrade) Max Havelaar Switzerland joins a growing number of Fairtrade markets where labelled Fairtrade gold jewellery is now available including Australia/New Zealand, Belgium, Canada, Denmark, Ireland, Luxembourg, Netherlands, South Korea, Sweden, United Kingdom; as well as the Czech Republic, Hong Kong, Indonesia, India, Norway, Trinidad who offer the Goldsmiths Registration Scheme.
Amy Ross, Fairtrade International Project Manager for Gold & Precious Metals Programme said: “The fact that Fairtrade gold is now available in one of the biggest jewellery markets in the world will be a huge boost to certified miners and their communities, who will enjoy the benefits of selling more of their gold on Fairtrade terms. At the same time, more consumers will have the option of choosing Fairtrade Gold for themselves and their loved ones. It really is the best gold story in the world.”
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For more general information, interviews, footage and images, please contact Martine Parry 044 20 7440 7695 or at martine.parry @fairtrade.org.uk
For information specifically about the Swiss launch, contact:
Katrin Dorfschmid, Tel 0041 44 278 99 17 E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
Elie Peter, Tel 0041 44 278 99 23, e-mail: E.email@example.com (requests in French)
Press pictures and more information about Fairtrade Gold: www.maxhavelaar.ch/gold
Notes to Editors