The British Jewellers’ Association this week demonstrated it’s commitment to assist members in achieving ethical supply chains by uniting with The National Association of Goldsmiths Ethics Working Committee initiative.
Realising that many small businesses are faced with substantial challenges when trying to assess ethical credentials of suppliers, the BJA and NAG have together taken the step towards bridging the gap between British jewellers and international small scale producers.
Both associations have connections with RJC and CIBJO and are mindful of their contribution to the debate, but act in the best interests of their respective members.
The launch of Fair Trade Gold has heralded a surge in demand from jewellers who are eager to embrace Fair Trade and ethical values throughout their supply chain.
However, many find themselves in a quandary as to how to integrate a traceable or credible system for selecting suppliers and for giving assurances to consumers.
The NAG & BJA‘s ethics working committee will assess the feasibility of a system of auditable standards covering the following areas:
Experts from each field will be called upon to assess and comment on the standards, in order to develop a robust system which can be accessed by NAG & BJA members in the future. Vivien Johnston, founder of ethical jewellery brand Fifi Bijoux, has been appointed to steer the project.
Greg Valerio, the force who brought Fair Trade gold to market, has pledged his support for the realisation of the standards.
Valerio and Johnston have both created ethical brands which use exclusively ethical materials, and have first hand knowledge of the complexities involved.
The ethics committee will use collective industry knowledge to drive forward greater transparency from suppliers and to provide members with an accessible system of assessment. The routes to connect with producers who are working to high standards of social and environmentally are currently inaccessible to many jewellers and the Ethics Working Committee seeks to enable relationships between both parties.