Press Release: Fairtrade International has launched a public consultation on its standard for gold and associated precious metals for artisanal and small-scale mining to explore how Fairtrade can best tackle new regulation and legislation in the gold industry.
The aim is for Fairtrade to offer a small, but scalable solution to companies looking to source gold from artisanal and small-scale miners that can demonstrate conformance with the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas.
The consultation will run from September 15 to October 17 and the revisions to the standard will be published in December 2014. The process will provide small scale miners and the wider extractives and jewelry industry a chance to input their views on what options should be included in the document.
Greg Valerio, Fairtrade International’s gold and precious metals program coordinator, said, “This process will ensure that the Fairtrade standard for gold, will become even stronger, deeper and more aligned to international conflict-free sourcing protocols, the outcome of which will create more positive opportunities for artisanal and small scale miners and their communities globally and give gold buyers and the jewelry industry the reassurances it needs when it comes to conflict free sourcing regulations.
“This is a significant development for Fairtrade gold and will further strengthen our offering, enabling producers in situations of political and economic turbulence to provide buyers with the information and assurances they need to maintain their commercial relationships.
“It is vital that we are nimble and able to adapt Fairtrade standard to this evolving and complex legal context so that we can enable much-needed systemic change in the gold industry,” he said.
The consultation covers a number of topics as Fairtrade International aims to develop a standard that is closely adapted to the specific context and needs of small-scale miners.
Of specific note are the following areas:
1. New requirements, which relate to the Dodd-Frank Act, Section 1502 (law applicable to U.S. issuers); draft E.U. Regulation incentivizing self-certification for importers of tin, tantalum, tungsten and gold who choose to import responsibly into the EU; and the OECD DDG (Due Diligence Guidance) – referred to by both the U.S. law and draft E.U. law.
2. The increased participation of workers in the governance of mining organizations.
3. The management and eradication of toxic substances in mining operations.
4. The protection of human rights.
The project will be carried out according to the standard operating procedures for the development of Fairtrade Standards. More information on these procedures can be found at www.fairtrade.net
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