When you think about gold, many think of shiny pieces of jewellery that are available to buy at the click of a button. However, the way in which this gold is mined can have a big impact on the day-to-day lives of those involved in sourcing this gold, as well as on their communities, and the environment around them. This is where fairtrade gold is important.
When gold is classed as fairtrade, it means that everyone involved in the mining process, as well as the production of the jewellery pieces, are treated fairly, and with respect. Here are 9 things to learn about fairtrade gold, and the benefits that it possesses…
What makes fairtrade gold both ethical and sustainable?
Fairtrade gold is a special type of gold that we, at Bensons Jewellers, use within many of our pieces, such as the Bensons Originals range. This type of precious metal is mined and produced in an ethical and sustainable way, with the goal of protecting the rights and well-being of the environment, workers and the local community. Therefore, the mining and production of fair trade gold is closely monitored to ensure that the working conditions are safe for workers, and do not cause any unnecessary harm to the environment.
How is fairtrade gold responsibly sourced?
Each and every step of the fairtrade gold production process ensures that the gold is responsibly sourced. This means that the gold is always traced from its beginning in the mine, all the way to the finished jewellery piece. Fairtrade gold is always both extracted and handled in accordance with the strict standards set by Fairtrade International.
Who is the Fairtrade International?
The Fairtrade International is a global organisation that works to promote the use of fairtrade practices in both the manufacturing, and the sale of the things that we use in our day-to-day lives. For example, we may find the fairtrade sticker, or mark of approval on our shop-bought bananas or chocolate bars. This mark ensures that these products meet the fair trade standards set out by these organisations. Fairtrade International standards include a process that reduces poverty and bad working conditions, promotes better workers wages, and increases sustainable development, aiming to create a more equitable global trade system.
Who ensures the fairtrade gold standards?
It is an independent, third-party organisation who ensures that fairtrade gold meets the standards set by the Fairtrade International. This process consists of an approved auditor, who will check that the gold has been produced in accordance with these strict, but beneficial standards.
What is a gold miners' premium, and what is its purpose?
During the fair trade gold operations, a high importance is placed on ensuring that the miners are paid a good, reputable price for their work. As well as this, they are given an additional premium that will be used to improve their living and working conditions. This fair price ensures that the gold miners and their families are well looked after, and that they are able to earn a sustainable income. An additional premium is also provided to fund community needs, such as for workers and farmers to use to improve the social, economic and environmental conditions of their area.
How do the fairtrade gold mining operations work?
It is absolutely crucial for fairtrade gold mining operations to adhere to strict environmental and safety standards that ensure both the safety, and the health of the workers in the community. This means that the mining activities are secure for workers, and do not harm the environment. The fairtrade gold mining operations also thoroughly respect the rights of the workers, and provide fair working conditions. This includes the miners benefiting from fair wages, safe working conditions, and high standards of respect and equality.
The use of both child, and forced labour is strictly prohibited during fairtrade gold mining operations. This means you have the peace of mind of knowing that fairtrade jewellery has been produced without the use of unjust labour, and that workers are treated ethically, and humanely.
What does the fairtrade gold certification process involve?
Involved within the fairtrade gold certification process is a requirement for continuous improvement, as well as the promotion of sustainable mining practices. These will take place over time, and ensure that the fairtrade gold mining operations are always being refined to develop even more sustainable and responsible practices.
Where is fairtrade gold used?
Recently, it has become increasingly popular to buy fairtrade gold pieces of jewellery. From fairtrade gold necklaces, rings, earrings, bracelets, bangles and more, there is an increasing variety of styles on the jewellery market. However, fairtrade gold is also used within other industries, such as electronics, coin making, and even dentistry. This means that the gold used within all of these products and services are responsibly sourced in a sustainable manner.
Why is fairtrade gold more expensive than normal gold?
Just as we would expect to pay that little bit extra for our fairtrade foods, fairtrade gold is often more expensive than normal gold. This is due to the added costs of the certification that the gold process must undergo, as well as the fair price paid to the miners. However, fairtrade gold is definitely worth the added cost, as it goes towards an ethical and sustainable way in which it is mined, its sustainable and responsible nature, and the focus on protecting the rights, well-being and environment of the local community.
Fairtrade Gold Jewellery at Bensons of Ludlow
We hope that these FAQs have given you a better understanding of fairtrade gold and its importance. However, if you have any further questions, then please feel free to get in touch with a member of our team. We will be happy to answer any queries that you may have!
Here at Bensons Jewellers, we pride ourselves on our beautiful jewellery, unique design, and exceptional quality. Within our ranges, we stock a variety of fairtrade gold pieces, from necklaces, rings and earrings, to bracelets and bangles. Browse fairtrade gold jewellery at Bensons online or alternatively, feel free to visit us at our Ludlow store to browse in-person.