Fair Trade Jeweler Greg Valerio Honored by Queen Elizabeth

He is recognized for his contributions to fair trade in the U.K., East Africa, and Colombia

Greg Valerio has been named a Member of the Order of the British Empire (MBE), an honor bestowed by the Queen of England.

He is recognized “for services to the U.K. and fair trade gold sectors in Colombia and East Africa,” according to the official release.

Valerio founded Cred Jewellery, the first company n the U.K. and Europe to sell fair trade gold and platinum jewelry. He sold the business in 2010 to focus on campaigning for fair trade and transparency in the jewelry industry.

“In agreeing to accept this award, I do so in the knowledge that there is a long list of people, too many to mention here, whom I am greatly indebted to,” Valerio wrote in a statement.

“Jewelry and justice are not incompatible and lost to each other,” he said. “The great challenge we now face is to forge a new luxury jewelry narrative that connects the aspirational emotion of the purchase with the dignity of the source. This is true luxury jewelry, a legacy of peace, justice and prosperity for the communities at the source and a continued celebration of design, creativity and love in the gift that is given.”

Valerio’s full statement is available here