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Exploring the Fairmined Gold Route

Exploring the Fairmined Gold Route

An Adventure in Colombia

In late September 2023, I spent a week in Colombia alongside certified Fairmined brands and suppliers who traveled from various parts of the world to learn more about the certified mining organizations under the Fairmined Initiative.

The first encounter took place in Popayán, where we met the miners of the Chede mining organization, certified with the Fairmined seal since 2018. Among their achievements is the implementation of an inclusion plan in their operation, reducing the gender gap by 20% compared to 2021. Women lead in safety and health at work, within the tunnels, and in the administrative area.

At Hacienda Calibío, near Popayán, the meeting with the Chede team was very emotional. There, language barriers dissipated amidst laughter, and everyone shared a bit of their story and motivations. Both groups share a commonality—they have made impactful decisions that entail significant commitments. On one side of the gold supply chain, mining communities like Chede and Iquira chose responsible mining practices, embarked on sustainability plans, and met the standard’s requirements. On the other side of that chain are jewelers who decided to change their supply chain, adjust their costs, and trace the origin of their materials back, becoming advocates for responsible gold.

The second planned visit included a mine from the Iquira mining organization in the Huila department. Due to upcoming elections, the miners informed us that a visit was not possible. Instead, we organized a meeting in the city of Neiva for jewelers and miners to connect. Despite being far from the mine tunnels, the miners brought their work attire, safety equipment, and videos and photos that allowed the jewelers to see how Fairmined certification translates into opportunities for local and regional development. They showcased their projects for centers accommodating people with disabilities, river cleaning campaigns, and housing plans for miners.

The journey concluded with a visit to the authorized Fairalloy supplier in Bogotá, where Andrés Castellanos emphasized the need to transparently discuss gold with buyers and end-users. “Many things are said about gold, but not those that are decisive when choosing where to source. Responsible mining, as standardized by the Fairmined seal, is bringing a model of positive social impact, environmental preservation, and traceability to the market.”

This adventure of the Fairmined gold route in Colombia paves the way for understanding, collaboration, and building a brighter future for mining communities and the gold industry as a whole. We hope this experience inspires more jewelers, consumers, and companies to join us in our commitment to gold that also makes the world a better place.


Choices that improve the world

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