Jewelers of America sent out a letter Monday in an effort to prepare the jewelry industry for the upcoming CBS 60 Minutes segment that focuses on the issue of artisanal gold mining in the eastern Democratic Republic of Congo. The letter was forwarded throughout the industry and was obtained by JCK through JBT.
According to JA, the segment could have an adverse effect on consumer confidence for the upcoming holiday season.
JA has been interviewed for the segment, as have other industry associations and businesses. JA believes that the piece will show harrowing images from the mining sites and contain personal interviews that will attempt to call the integrity of the entire gold jewelry supply chain into question. JA expects that the jewelry industry will be cast as having failed to act responsibly in the face of an ongoing and well documented crisis.
JA has asked their members to reach out to their suppliers and ask them to affirm-in writing-their commitment to the responsible sourcing of gold and gold jewelry products, and to do what they can, within their spheres of influence, to ensure that the gold they supply has not originated from conflict sources, including eDRC.
JA has also developed new member guidance materials to help JA members deal with questions on this issue from customers, human rights groups or media.