On the heels of the European Commission’s decision to eliminate De Beers’ dealings with Russia, the Belgium Polished Diamond Dealers Association (BVGD)—a frequent De Beers critic—has written to the European Commission asking it to “dismantle” De Beers’ Supplier of Choice policy.
BVGD called the Supplier of Choice scoring system a “tool” for controlling the market.
“Through its questionnaires, De Beers garners every last bit of information on its customers’ activities and business strategy,” said the BVGD statement. “Then, by assigning a higher grade to the answers that conform best to De Beers’ strategy, it forces its customers to behave in De Beers’ expected way. As all sightholders know and fear that De Beers could strip them of their much-needed supply, they are following De Beers’ expectations with incredible zeal.”
It noted that De Beers has already eliminated most sightholders that deal in rough stones, which tightens its control over distribution.
“The SoC system perverts the freedom of De Beers’ customers to conduct their business in their own best economic interests,” the statement continued. “On one hand, unrealistic demands are being made. On the other, alternative supplies of rough are cut off.”
The statement concluded by asking the Commission to reinstate the rough-dealing sightholders and no longer allow De Beers to include “leading” questions in its questionnaires.