Maria Black becomes first luxury jewellery brand to join new Fairtrade gold sourcing programme

Maria Black becomes the first luxury jewellery brand to join the new Fairtrade Gold Sourcing Programme (GSP) on 3 December 2021.

In 2021, which marks 10 years of Fairtrade Gold, the programme was launched to enable more jewellery brands and businesses to source from an ethical supply chain.  Maria Black’s IMPACT gold alloy, which is available in some UK stores comprises 30% Fairtrade Gold and 70% recycled gold. Maria Black’s support for Fairtrade Gold means miners will benefit from the Fairtrade Standards, including fair prices and investment through the Premium, and the jeweller also commits to evaluating how to increase Fairtrade gold volumes over time.

Jesper Nykjaer Jeppesen, Maria Black CEO, said ‘Fairtrade is widely recognized for improving conditions for artisanal and small-scale miners, tackling unfair pay, dangerous working conditions, and environmental protection. At Maria Black, we are working towards responsible, high-impact sourcing and call on the industry to follow our example and transform artisanal and small-scale gold mining and sourcing Fairtrade gold is the best place to start.

‘We are proud to be working closely with Fairtrade to launch our IMPACT gold alloy, ahead of Christmas. At Maria Black, we acknowledge the challenges and reality of the jewellery industry, and we are working to make social and environmental improvements within our supply chain.’  

For around 150 million people worldwide who depend on artisanal and small-scale (ASM) gold mining it provides a treacherous living. Often unregulated, it involves back-breaking work and the dangerous use of toxic mercury with severe risks to miners’ health and the environment to extract the precious metal. Seeking to improve conditions for those in the ASM sector, which represents 90% of the labour force in gold extraction, Fairtrade mines in Peru offer greater social protections, health and safety, higher wages and through Premium, investment to support miners’ families and communities.

Today, as the leading certification and ethical solution for gold, Fairtrade works with over 100 licensees and 300 goldsmiths. The GSP programme is the latest model to support and offer greater flexibility for brands. It means that businesses do not have to source all their gold volumes as Fairtrade to make a positive commitment and invest in improving the sustainability of their supply chains. Through the programme, it is possible to source traceable, audited Fairtrade gold and mix it with other origins to use across the business.

Amy Collis, Senior Supply Chain Manager, Gold, said: ‘As we celebrate 10 years of Fairtrade gold, we are excited to announce our new partnership with Maria Black under the Gold Sourcing Programme, and hope that this will inspire more consumers and businesses to choose Fairtrade gold.

‘No one wants the people behind their gifts to suffer exploitation, and the good news for the public is that today we can make ethical Christmas purchases thanks to jewellers like Maria Black who are showing their support for Fairtrade Gold.

‘To choose Fairtrade is to choose Gold with heart. Fairtrade supports miners in Peru to secure safe, sustainable livelihoods, combat poverty and protect their local environments.’

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