CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, has withdrawn from its membership from the newly formed Council of Responsible Jewellery Practices.
Gaeatano Cavalieri, CIBJO president, notified CRJP of its decision in a letter. Cavalieri cited concern among CIBJO members that the proposed structure of CRJP may disadvantage the majority of companies in the international jewellery, gemstone, and precious metals industries.
“CRJP is at a critical juncture right now,” said Cavalieri. “Because it is apparently about to adopt an operational structure that will establish it is as type of international standards organization for the industry. The problem from our perspective is that the process that is being devised for companies to obtain and maintain CRJP accreditation is extremely cumbersome and expensive, which means that most of its participants will remain major players in the industry, as is the case today. CIBJO serves the interests of the rank and file of the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals industries, many of whom may be discriminated against, simply because they will lack the means to obtain CRJP accreditation. This is a not a situation that we feel we can accept.”
In his letter to the CRJP board of directors, Cavalieri noted that: “For CIBJO, as an organization which is made up of national organisations from around the world, and therefore representing many thousands of small and medium-sized players in the jewellery, gemstone and precious stones business, the potential that CRJP will remain an exclusive club of mainly larger players is something it cannot support. Moreover, by agreeing to remain an active a CRJP member, CIBJO would indicate the tacit approval of its member associations of the current CRJP structure and operation.”
Headquartered in Milan, Italy, CIBJO is the umbrella body that acts as a forum and global representative for national associations in the jewellery, gemstone and precious metals sectors in some 40 countries, including all of the world’s major markets and production centres. As such, it is the only body whose framework encompasses most of the players in the worldwide jewellery, gemstone and precious metals business community. The CRJP, which was formally established in May of this year with the stated aim of promoting responsible business practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the industry, traces its roots directly to the establishment of the CIBJO Consumer Confidence Commission, at the CIBJO Congress in Bangkok, Thailand, in March 2004.
“We support the ethical principles on which the CRJP was created, which indeed were first declared in a CIBJO forum, and we would like to engage the council in order to address the specific issues about which we are concerned. Consequently, while I will be withdrawing CIBJO from the CRJP, I hope that our absence will be temporary,” Cavalieri said in his letter.