What is Fairtrade gold?

What is Fairtrade gold and why is it important?

Traditional mining demands lots of work and is usually barely regulated. During these working hours, the miners are often subjected to many risks, like exposure to toxic chemicals, such as mercury or cyanide used to refine gold. The tunnels are usually very narrow which incites the use of children in the workforce. The miners also receive a very small pay for their hard work in these dangerous working conditions. The use of Fairtrade gold allows a better protection of these people, as well as of the environment in artisanal gold mining.  

Fairtrade gold is sourced exclusively from small-scale mines which meet the Fairtrade Gold Standard - a globally recognised marker of best practice. Fairtrade gold being more expensive than normal gold, it provides the workers in Fairtrade certified gold mines with a guaranteed minimum Fairtrade price for their product. It also ensures that proper safety equipment and policies are respected for the well-being of the workers. These mines are regularly audited by FLOCERT, an independent institution for an objective control of good practices, to check if they meet the Fairtrade Gold Standard and are in compliance with the regulations. This way, by using Fairtrade gold we not only support artisanal and small scale miner cooperatives financially but also by giving them the tools to act in case of discrimination and to lobby for better livelihoods and working conditions. 

More than that, by buying fairtrade gold jewelry you directly contribute to the improvement of the welfare and the natural environment of the gold mine workers themselves and their communities. Wearing Fairtrade means they receive a fair deal for their hard work, as well as proper support in case of litigation. In addition to that, Fairtrade gold jewelry is fully traceable all the way back to its original mine, as opposed to recycled gold. 

Using recycled gold in jewelry may seem like a good option at first sight, but it does not curb its extraction. The impacts of gold extraction are so massive that they can’t be solved with recycled gold, as it does not guarantee it was extracted in fair conditions. Instead of addressing the local situation directly, it just moves the problem away and does not help mining to become more responsible.

That’s the reason why here, at AGUAdeORO, we decided to exclusively use Max Havelaar’s certified Fairtrade Gold for all of our jewelry pieces. By acting this way, we directly help local and small-scale miners during the whole gold extraction process and ensure that it was made in fair conditions. 

We, like our partners, are regularly audited by FLOCERT in order to certify that our activity respects the ethical commitments required by Fairtrade. In addition to these audits, we provide you with a traceability certificate that covers all the production of your jewelry piece, starting from the mine.

We are proud to be able to contribute to the progress and development in this sector and help local communities often dependent on this job.

2 comments

Bonjour Madame Bellini,

Merci pour votre commentaire pertinent.
En effet, malgré les réglementations imposées par le label Fairtrade, ces dernières ne sont pas infaillibles aux impacts environnementaux dans les zones concernées. Cependant, le label applique des directives concrètes qui permettent indirectement de contrôler les retombées sur l’environnement :

- L’utilisation du mercure et de l’acide prussique pour l’extraction de l’or est réduit et strictement contrôlé, notamment à l’occasion d’audits.

- Les quantités d’eau utilisées sont contrôlées afin de limiter l’empreinte hydrique.

- La refertilisation des sols est prise en charge après l’exploitation de zones d’extractions.

- Une partie des primes Fairtrade est allouée à des initiatives environnementales telles que la reforestation, la conservation de la faune et la promotion de l’agriculture durable.

Nous vous invitons à consulter les reportages disponible sur le site internet de Fairtrade Max Havelaar : https://www.fairtrademaxhavelaar.ch/fr/produits/categories-de-produits/lor-fairtrade

En espérant que notre réponse satisfera vos interrogations, nous restons à votre disposition afin de vous communiquer toute information complémentaire.

L’équipe AGUAdeORO

AGUAdeORO July 03, 2024

Le label Fairtrade ne signifie pas moins d’impacts sur l’environnement.
Comment intégrez-vous cette dimension ?
Cordialement Béatrice Bellini

Bellini June 25, 2024

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