DTC confirms Commitment to SoC, Outlines Future

The Diamond Trading Company (DTC), the sales and marketing arm of the De Beers Group, outlined the company’s vision and objectives for 2008 and beyond and reinforced its commitment to the Supplier of Choice strategy, the company said in a statement.

Nicky Oppenheimer, chairman of the De Beers Group, Gareth Penny, managing director of the De Beers Group and Varda Shine, managing director of the DTC; shared their vision with clients at the DTC’s January sightholder dinner held Tuesday.

Shine discussed the need for a more cooperative relationship with sightholders, based on shared goals, standards and responsibilities. She highlighted the DTC’s renewed emphasis on working with sightholders beginning with the 2008 contract period that could demonstrate world-class excellence and the need for the DTC and its sightholders to “stand-up and be counted” on the issue of ethical business practices. She also introduced several innovations ahead of the new contract period, including:

• A promise to extend the ITO for the 2008 contract period to a 12 month duration.
• Providing a simplified but robust application process, recognizing an applicant’s expertise in specific types of rough diamonds.
• A greater focus on building a cooperative partnership with sightholders that will deliver commercial benefits to the DTC and to sightholders alike.
• The importance of working with partners that add value to the diamonds the DTC sells by doing what they do best regardless of where they operate in the diamond pipeline and regardless of their business model.
• Building the DTC’s reputation as the home of rough diamonds, the home of ‘Big Ideas’ and world-class services, the home of excellence and the home of the highest ethical business practices.
• Reinforcing the ethical standards required for doing business with the DTC and ensuring these standards and transparency remain core attributes required of all DTC clients.

Shine said that the final plans on how to deliver the company’s 2008 strategic goals will be confirmed following consultation with sightholders and brokers. This will include a series of workshops starting in February.

“The strategic goals of the DTC–driving consumer demand for diamond jewelry, making the diamond pipeline as efficient as possible and ensuring that diamonds represent the highest standards in ethical business practice – had brought significant benefits,” Shine said. Our commitment to these goals has reinvigorated the industry and brought us from a period of negative growth in the 1990s, to a period of major growth in consumer demand for diamond jewelry.

”In delivering this strategy, we have learned lessons that we will apply to the next contract period. We want to have an increasingly mature relationship with sightholders. One based on shared responsibilities, as well as shared goals.”

In his speech, Nicky Oppenheimer reaffirmed the commitment of the Oppenheimer family to the De Beers Group and the diamond industry. He shared his optimism for the future while outlining some of the significant issues the industry faced in 2006, including pressure on profitability.

Gareth Penny’s presentation focused on the priority De Beers places on ethical business practices and sustainability across the company. He also outlined the company’s unprecedented investment in diamond prospecting and new projects throughout the world and De Beers’ commitment to supporting the countries and communities where its diamonds are mined.