The Responsible Jewellery Council recently launched its certification system.
Under the system, RJC-approved independent auditors will examine members for compliance with its code of ethical, social, and environmental practices.
Members, with the exception of miners, now have until the end of 2011 to have their businesses certified by RJC’s chosen auditors. Miners have until 2012.
Following the launch, some nongovernmental organizations criticized the group, saying it fails to include their input and that its mining standards fall short.
“The RJC is a process led and governed entirely by the very industries that are to be monitored,” said Payal Sampat of Earthworks and the No Dirty Gold campaign.
RJC CEO Michael Rae countered that numerous NGOs were involved in the development of RJC’s standards, which have been open for public comment.