The Israel Diamond Institute Group of Companies unveiled a new campaign to advocate for responsible business practices called “Responsibility is Good. Business.”
The campaign, which follows IDI’s “Together Works” initiative, was unveiled by Eli Avidar, managing director of IDI, at a lunchtime meeting on Friday in Basel, Switzerland.
“Responsible policies and actions are the true foundation for a better and more stable diamond business,” said Avidar.
In his speech, Avidar called for industry responsibility in four areas: manufacturing, marketing, customer service, and credit. The first should involve the adoption of a new policy on the purchase of rough-this “must not be purchased at any cost,” said Avidar, as diamantaires can not contribute to the artificial escalation of prices. The second point acknowledges responsibility for companies in the way it markets products, and the third is an area of specialization for Israelis; the fourth point, however, calls attention to the changing arena of consumer confidence and the fact that diamond companies “need to be environmentally responsible and to include that fact in their marketing messages,” said Avidar.
Last year’s “Together Works”, IDI’s multi-faceted marketing campaign, served as proof that there is indeed strength in numbers. For example, in the past year, Israeli diamantaires teamed up to pool resources, reach developing markets, launch a presence on social media outlets, and invest in resources dedicated to creating environments conducive to doing business. These efforts have helped Israeli firms stave off mass industry bankruptcies (just a handful have occurred, according to Avidar), corporate requests for government assistance, and, contributed to a nearly 61 percent increase in Israeli diamond exports in February 2010.
Of course, Avidar offered some cautionary words on learning from past mistakes (the new campaign will help) and generic diamond ads a la De Beers “A Diamond Is Forever”: “there have been too many words said and no action in that direction,” he noted, particularly with regard to emerging markets China and India.
Orit Noked Talks Kimberley Process
Orit Noked, Israel’s Deputy Minister of Industry, Trade & Labor, served as a guest speaker to the press conference on Friday, talking about the important role Israel has played in KP, including serving as chair in 2010.
“As one of the leading international diamond trading centers, the State of Israel is aware of the moral obligation advanced economies have in promoting fair trade and in the attention that needs to be given to the sources of the commodities they consume,” said Noked. “In an unprecedented pace the Kimberley Process has been able to reduce the illicit rough diamond trade from accounting for 15 percent of the international rough diamond trade down to less than 1 percent.”