The Power of Fairtrade

Posted by Jon - 27 February 2018

Why Do We Need Fairtrade?

90% of the global gold labour force are small-scale miners, characterised by high levels of poverty, exploitation and a lack of basic human rights. Poor and vulnerable men, women and children work in hazardous conditions with little or no health and safety measurements. The unskilled and often ignorant use of toxic chemicals poses severe risks to the miners, their communities and the environment. Small-scale miners rarely receive a fair price for their product.


Fairtrade Supports Miners


Fairtrade Gold helps miners work their way out of poverty in safe working conditions.  By adhering to strict Fairtrade Standards, they are able to gain market access and receive a fair market price, along with a Premium payment. This payment gives them the opportunity to improve their lives and those of their children, as well as the wider community. It also ensures greater protection for the environment. 


Working Conditions: The health and safety of miners is a priority. Miners are required to undergo safety and first aid training and to use protective equipment.

Chemicals: Fairtrade Standards restrict the use of mercury and provide advice on how to manage chemicals properly. They prohibit both direct handling without protective gloves, and the burning of chemicals in homes or the open air.


Environment: Certified mines must follow local laws which protect the environment and are also required to restore mine sites.


Conflict: Fairtrade does not certify mines that contribute to conflict and human rights abuses.  However, they do audit responsible mining in conflict-affected areas, making it possible to source gold responsibly from affected regions, traceable back to the mine of origin.


Child Labour: Fairtrade certified mines do not use child labour.  Miners must put a Child Protection Policy in place and work to prevent child labour.


Traceability: Fairtrade Gold can be traced from the mine, through the refining process, and into finished products. This is backed up by documentation of all transactions between miners and licensed jewellers.



Payment: Miners receive a Fairtrade Premium of $2,000 per kilogramme of fine gold, on top of the guaranteed Fairtrade Minimum Price. They can invest this money as they choose, whether that’s in their community or to improve their business.


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