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Welcome to the Rapaport Fair Trade Blog and Discussion! Read the blog posts and let us know what you think, or just browse the comments and share your own two cents in the Discussion. We want to hear your take!

U.S. College Students and Conflict Diamonds

By Ariel Pollock | November 21th, 2012 | 0 comments

A group of college students from Tufts University in Boston have come together to produce a powerful video on the Kimberley Process and suggested reforms.

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The Kimberley Process – Recognising the need to reform

By Denesha Brar | October 10th, 2012 | 0 comments

US Chairmanship of the Kimberley Process by Ambassador Gillian A. Milovanovic has been fairly positive and laid the foundations for consensus led reform within the KP.


In a recent letter penned by Ambassador Milovanovic, the US has committed to reforming the KP. The letter outlined the belief that KP safeguards should be implemented on a site-by-site basis, ‘consistent with systems for other conflict minerals.’ This would go some way in ensuring that KP compliance is consistent in all mines, in all countries and KP reviews are stringently implemented.


However, whilst this letter committed to reforming the KP practices in order to meet the challenges that continue to face the diamond industry, the letter did suffer from the same affliction that has affected the KP since its creation; timidity.

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Zimbabwe Blood Diamonds – A Political and Financial Racket

By Denesha Brar | August 20th, 2012 | 0 comments

In a less than stellar year for the diamond industry, a recent report revealed that Zimbabwe exported 7.15 million carats last year.[1] This is a huge influx of money for a country ravaged by hyperinflation, poor economic management and political unease. The income from these diamonds should, in theory, go some way into improving the lives of the average Zimbabwean in the Marange area and reigniting the financial system of what used to be an African economic powerhouse.

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Where is the KP?

By Erinna Cavin | August 03th, 2012 | 0 comments

Shouldn't the KP, and other industry organizations for that matter, investigate allegations of rape at Anjin and sanction the firm if these claims are true? While it remains unclear where M23 gets its funding to buy arms in the DRC, rumors are surfacing that gold and diamonds both may be a major source of cash. Again, shouldn't the KP be out there to confirm that DRC's rough diamonds remain out of the hands of these rebels?

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Will Dodd-Frank Come Together In Time for Gold Diggers in the DRC?

By Denesha Brar | July 31th, 2012 | 0 comments

Grandfathered into the 2010 Dodd-Frank act is a little known provision that ‘directs the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) to promulgate new disclosure rules for SEC reporting companies for whom ‘conflict minerals are necessary to the functionality or production of a product manufactured by such persons.’ The term ‘conflict mineral’ relates to coltan, cassiterite, gold, wolframite and their derivatives sourced from the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC) and nine adjoining countries. The Dodd-Frank provision was designed to put pressure on industries that use these minerals to introduce transparent, conflict-free supply chains. Passed in 2010, the Dodd-Frank act has yet to iron out its kinks, which has had consequences for the implementation of its provisions – and most notably for the gold industry, its conflict minerals provision.

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Gold: A Storied History, But What Does the Future Hold?

By Denesha Brar | June 26th, 2012 | 0 comments

The power and allure of gold is undeniable. Gold has woven its way into history, spanning cultures, centuries and countries. A wonderful exhibit at the Goldsmith’s Company in London explores the 4500-year history of gold in Great Britain. Titled Gold: Power and Allure, the exhibit held at the very place where hallmarking gold pieces first occurred was a great retrospective on the enduring attraction of gold. The sentimental and monetary value of gold has only increased its desirability and power across the world.

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The Ethical Diamond Jubilee?

By Denesha Brar | June 12th, 2012 | 0 comments

During the first weekend of June, Britain was gripped with Diamond Jubilee fever. The Diamond Jubilee celebrated the sixty years of Queen Elizabeth II’s reign since her ascension to the throne in 1952. The celebrations were an opportunity to look back at the last six decades of the Second Elizabethan Age – and for those in the jewellery industry, an opportunity to remember the history of the Crown Jewels.

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Why Do Ethics Only Matter at the Mine?

By Denesha Brar | May 23th, 2012 | 0 comments

At the recent World Diamond Council (WDC) plenary in Vicenza, Italy, members reaffirmed their commitment to eliminating trade in conflict diamonds and agreed that the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS) should expand its definition of conflict diamonds. Kimberley Process Chairwoman, U.S. Ambassador Gillian Milovanovic spoke of the need to expand the definition of conflict diamonds to cover ‘rough diamonds used to finance or otherwise directly related to armed conflict or other situations of violence.

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Smuggled Stones - Another Industry Challenge to Overcome

By Denesha Brar | May 08th, 2012 | 0 comments

A little known fact: the diamond industry maintains a casual acceptance of smuggling. The mentality is generally that it has always occurred, and will continue to occur. Indeed, smuggling remains a seemingly impossible practice to overcome. During a recent interview I conducted, an industry member likened trying to stop smuggling to trying to stop the oldest profession in the world – a joking statement that resonated with me as I attempted to wrap my head around the task at hand.

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From an Ecuadorian Gold Mine, Signs of Promise

By Toby Pomeroy | April 30th, 2012 | 1 comments

At the recent “Gold: Vision, Value and Values” Initiatives in Art and Culture Conference in New York, I heard a distinct shift in tone and timbre regarding sustainability and human rights in the mining sector while there were also the familiar tunes being played. 


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