Photo: Sissai (Peru) / Ana Gonzalez Joyas (Colombia)

The global precious metals industry has begun to realize the importance of having ethical and responsible practices throughout its supply chain, starting with extraction. For this reason, every day more companies are choosing to purchase Fairmined Labelled metals.

Today, more than 140 companies from 21 countries work with Fairmined Gold and Silver extracted by artisanal and small-scale mining organizations in Colombia, Peru, Bolivia and Mongolia that have been certified by the Fairmined Standard, which promotes organizational strengthening, social development, and environmental protection.

Although Europe and North America consume the most Fairmined Gold, South America has caught on to this trend of supporting responsible precious metals. In this region, there are now thirteen jewelers licensed to work with Fairmined Gold/Silver, and we also have our first Fairmined Authorized Supplier located in Colombia. Nevertheless, we continue to search for new companies that would like to supply their country with Fairmined Gold.

For years we have seen how the jewelry industry has been implicated in complex social and environmental issues surrounding gold extraction, particularly in certain South American countries where these metals may be wielded to fuel armed conflicts or a form of laundering illegitimate funds. Managing the ethical and environmental risks associated with the mineral supply chain is essential for jewelers who wish to protect their reputation and distinguish their products. This is why every day more brands are buying metals bearing the Fairmined Label. The Fairmined Label gives assurance to market players on the product origin, and it provides a safe route to the market for responsibly extracted metals. Anyone who buys Fairmined certified gold or precious metals is backing the Fairmined Standard that supports responsible miners and brings about positive impacts in mining organizations and communities.

Seven artisanal and small-scale mining organizations in South America have achieved Fairmined Certification, making the continent a leading exporter of Fairmined Gold. Their arduous efforts to improve mining practices have been rewarded, and it is their gold that has gleamed in international awards such as the Nobel Peace Prize medal, the Palme d’Or at the Cannes Film Festival, and the Rio 2016 Olympic Laurel.