Tiffany Funds Fair Trade Diamonds Study

TransFair USA, an independent, third-party certifier of Fair Trade certified products, has been awarded a $100,000 grant from The Tiffany & Co. Foundation to assess the feasibility of Fair Trade certification for diamonds.
The Oakland, Calif.-based company said it will begin conducting the study in early 2008 to investigate this possible new category, which would support the development efforts and reward best practices of diamond producers.
“Fair Trade Certified diamonds have the potential to deliver unprecedented benefits to populations currently experiencing severe disadvantages in the diamond trade,” said Paul Rice, TransFair USA chief executive officer.
These populations include both independent miners working in artisanal mining communities—more than a million of whom live on less than $1 per day—and wage laborers in larger, industrial-scale mining operations, who may have development needs and may potentially face exploitative labor practices, unfair wages, and severe health and workplace hazards in certain situations.
TransFair said it will explore the feasibility of developing a Fair Trade Certified standard for the diamond industry, which has been criticized on social and environmental issues. The study will explore a certification system that could potentially provide significant benefits across the supply chain, thereby reducing conflict and improving workers’ rights; community relations; environmental, health and safety practices; all while aimed at improving the bottom line of participating miners and companies.