5 myths about Fairmined that you should put at rest

5 myths about Fairmined that you should put at rest

By: Morgane Nzelemona, Account management Specialist at the Alliance for Responsible Mining

EVEN THOUGH FAIRMINED METALS FROM CERTIFIED SMALL-SCALE MINING HAVE BEEN AROUND FOR A FEW YEARS NOW, THERE ARE STILL VARIOUS MYTHS AND MISCONCEPTIONS ABOUT THEM. These myths may keep companies from including Fairmined metals in their sourcing mix and make an impact in mining communities. Therefore, in this blog article, we want to put the top five myths about Fairmined at rest once and for all. MAYBE YOU MIGHT END UP SEEING FAIRMINED GOLD AS A PERFECT OPTION FOR YOUR BUSINESS?

Alex Monroe, Fables Collection – Fairmined’s 100 challenge participant

Myth #1: Fairmined is too expensive

Traceability, responsible mining, fairer trade conditions and support to the communities come at an additional price: Fairmined gold is more expensive than conventional and recycled gold. On average, Fairmined gold grain costs between 15 – 20% more than conventional gold.

However, the value Fairmined adds to your products is worth far more than the extra price.

In addition, the cost of the metal is usually not the most important factor in the determination of the price of the final product.

Using Fairmined gold in a piece might have a marginal impact on the price of the end product.

 In a jewel of 5g, for example, the extra cost of Fairmined may be around 40-50 USD. Besides, if you tell the beautiful Fairmined story right, your clients will be willing to pay this extra price. A recent survey showed that when consumers learn about artisanal and small-scale mining, they are likely to spend more on products made with responsibly mined, artisanal material.

MYTH #2: ALL MY GOLD SHOULD BE FAIRMINED CERTIFIED

Sometimes brands worry that if they choose to source Fairmined gold, they need to get rid of their previous stock, source only Fairmined gold, or feel uncomfortable about what to say about the other gold they source.

The Fairmined initiative offers great flexibility to its licensed brands, letting them adopt the sourcing model and mix that suits their business model best . There are many ways to start working with Fairmined, as you can learn in this blog entry. From offering Fairmined as a customization option to sourcing exclusively Fairmined metals, you can adopt the approaches that best suit you.

If you decide to combine different sources of gold in your sourcing mix, you can see it as a way to offer your clients more options. They will be thankful for being provided with different choices that they can identify with.

MYTH #3: THERE IS NOT ENOUGH SUPPLY FOR MY DEMAND

It is true that there is still a small number of Fairmined certified mines and a limited volume of production, therefore Fairmined gold still represents less than 1% of the global gold production.

However, even if the offer is still limited, it is important to start incorporating at least a small amount of responsible gold from artisanal and small-scale mining in your sourcing mix something and show the miners that you value their efforts. If certified mining organizations are successful in selling their gold with the Fairmined premium, this will incentivize more miners to work towards certification, thus increasing supply in the future. If the supply of Fairmined doesn’t cover your needs (yet), you can implement a step-by-step approach. Most brands start using Fairmined gold for a specific product range or collection, or gradually increase the share of Fairmined gold in their sourcing mix.

Finally, you can also directly contribute to increasing the Fairmined gold offer by financially supporting mines on their way towards Fairmined certification. For that, become a partner for change and join ARM’s Sustainable mines program.

Myth #4: It is difficult to adapt my supply chain to Fairmined requirements

With Fairmined, it is not necessary that you make any changes to your supply chain if you don’t want to, or if you are not able to.

If you want to make an impact without changing your production chain, you can simply choose to incorporate Fairmined certified metals into your existing sourcing. That means that you purchase Fairmined gold from one of the Fairmined authorized suppliers and then mix it with the rest of the gold you use.

You won’t be able to claim that a product or a collection is made of Fairmined gold, but you can give evidence of your contribution to the transformation of the artisanal and small-scale mining sector, as you generate the same impact on the mining communities through your purchase.

Paulette à Bicyclette –  ARM’s archive

Only if you want to offer extra guarantees to your clients about specific collections and pieces being made with Fairmined metals, you will have to make sure that all the gold of these pieces comes from Fairmined certified mines. In this case, you might have to make changes to your supply chain, either through working with one of our authorized suppliers or convince one of your current suppliers to use Fairmined gold and follow the traceability rules.

Finally, keep in mind that you won’t be alone on this journey and that our team of account managers will be happy to walk you through this process, addressing your doubts and helping you identify the best set

Myth #5: Fairmined reporting and auditing requirements are too complicated

Complying with reporting and auditing requirements sounds like spending a lot of time and money.Reporting Fairmined metals is pretty straightforward: as a licensed brand you are only supposed to confirm your purchases of certified metals every six months. There is no need to report end product sales or to validate your claims on final products.

Fairmined audits are flexible, depending on the volume of metals you purchase and the sourcing model you choose (Fairmined labeled or incorporated). Brands that work with the Fairmined incorporated model, which is the mass balance approach, only need to file in a very simple self-assessment every three years. If you purchase less than 1,5kg within 3 years, you also won’t need to do an external audit but do a self-assessment as well. All the other brands have to do desktop audits with independent audit bodies, and if they demonstrate high compliance with the requirements in their first audit, the next audit will only be scheduled after three years. Fairmined audits can also be combined with RJC Chain of Custody (CoC) audits which will save you time and money.

 

What other myths or misconceptions have you heard about Fairmined? Help us deconstruct a few more myths by writing us here

If you are ready to join the Fairmined Family, write us here

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