What is Fairtrade Gold?
Fairtrade Gold is the name for the independently certified and audited Fairtrade system for gold and other precious metals from artisanal small-scale mining organisations. The system was launched in the UK in 2011 by the Fairtrade Foundation.
Fairtrade Gold comes from Fairtrade certified mines that have met the Fairtrade Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals for Artisanal Small Scale Mining or ‘Fairtrade Standards’. This includes conditions to ensure human rights, environmental protection, and health and safety requirements are upheld and maintained. Miners receive fair pay as well as the Fairtrade Premium.
The Fairtrade Premium, paid to the mining organisation and democratically invested in the mining community, is determined from the following, metal specific calculations.
$2000 USD per kilo of Fairtrade Gold
15% of LBMA fixing for Ecological Fairtrade Gold
10% of LBMA on day of purchase for Fairtrade Silver
15% of LBMA on day of purchase for Fairtrade Platinum
Fairtrade and its Licensees and Master Licensees are audited by FLOCERT, an independent verification body, which ensures a traceable and transparent supply chain. Just as Fairtrade coffee or bananas are recognisable as carrying the FAIRTRADE Mark, the Fairtrade Stamp can be applied to the final gold piece so long as it has been audited from mine to market.
Read more about the Fairtrade Gold program in the Fairtrade Gold Policy Report.
Options Available for Working with Fairtrade Gold
There are three models available for businesses and makers who would like to work with Fairtrade Gold. The Licensee Model and Goldsmith’s Scheme are best suited to smaller businesses, while the Sourcing Program is designed for large businesses. These three models provide the benefit from press coverage through Fairtrade marketing activities and the support of their campaigner network.
The key details and benefits of each model are explained below. Interested licensees should consult the Fairtrade Gold for businesses page, on the Fairtrade website.
- Licensee Model
- All licensees and their entire supply chains are audited by FLOCERT to Fairtrade Gold Standards, providing physical traceability to the consumer.
- Registered pieces that have been approved by the Fairtrade Foundation can have the Fairtrade Stamp applied.
- The cost is a one-off signup fee of £500 (plus VAT) and once set up, licensees are required to pay a quarterly license fee of £1.90 per gram of fine gold sold or £25, whichever is greater.
- There is no upper limit to the amount of Fairtrade precious metal that can be purchased.
- Licensees have full use of the FAIRTRADE Mark, as well as access to advice when creating promotional materials and to other marketing opportunities.
- Goldsmith’s Scheme
Designed for smaller jewellers and silversmiths
- Goldsmith’s Scheme members buy Fairtrade Gold from a Master Licensee whose entire supply chain has been audited by FLOCERT to Fairtrade Gold Standards. This provides physical traceability up to the Scheme member’s point of purchase.
- This Scheme offers free annual membership requiring little administration.
- Scheme members are required to make at least one purchase during the year. Purchases can total a maximum of 500 grams of gold or platinum and 2 kilograms of silver annually.
- Finished pieces cannot have the Fairtrade Stamp applied, but there is the option to purchase ‘white label’ ring mounts/wedding bands, etc. that have the Fairtrade Stamp applied by the Master Licensee.
- Scheme Members have access to a range of pre-approved marketing materials.
For more Scheme details see the Fairtrade Gold Goldsmiths Registration Scheme page
- Fairtrade Gold Sourcing Program
For businesses wanting to make a larger volume corporate commitment to Fairtrade Gold within their supply chain, contact firstname.lastname@example.org or phone 0203 3015001.
To purchase Fairtrade metals, consult our list of Fairtrade Metal Suppliers for options.
Banner Image Credit: Ute Decker | Logo: The Fairtrade Foundation