Fairmined gold is coming to the United States, the Alliance for Responsible Mining has announced.
The gold, produced under certain conditions designed to benefit the artisanal and small-scale mining communities that produce it, had previously been difficult to obtain in this country.
Fairmined gold used to be co-branded with the Fairtrade insignia from Fairtrade International (FLO). When ARM and FLO decided to end their co-branding agreement earlier this year, it paved the way for Fairmined gold’s entrance into the United States, says ARM director of supply chain management and producer support Kenneth Porter.
Even though the Fairmined logo is still getting off the ground, Porter is confident it will find an audience and says the organization plans a marketing campaign.
“Fairtrade is the most recognized ethical label in the world,” he says. “But it’s also known for agricultural product. We feel ‘Fairmined’ sends a clear message.”
Despite the difference in labels, Porter says, there is no fundamental difference in the conditions under which Fairmined and Fairtrade gold are produced. The Fairmined product is sold with an around 10 percent premium over regular gold.
“That’s justifiable when you see the investment mining communities have to make,” Porter says.
The organization will also market Fairmined Silver and Platinum.
Fair Trade Jewellery cofounder Ryan Taylor says he hopes to sell the product to “companies that are looking to integrate ethical gold and use it as a part of a corporate social responsibility/sourcing program.”
Although he also will be selling gold with the Fairtrade label, Taylor says he doesn’t think the insignias will confuse consumers.
“If you walk into a coffee shop, you see Rainforest Alliance, you see a variety of third party labels,” he says. “I think any jewelers who are willing to carry this will take the time to understand it and not just throw it in the case.”
“It has a narrative to it,” Taylor continues. “I think it shows that jewelers who carry this material are a little more progressive. It shows a different side of the industry and gives us some positivity around our products. Hopefully, we get to the point where everything in a jewelry store is ethically sourced.”