Fair Trade Minerals: Opportunities, challenges and finding a way forward for sustainable ASM


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This presentation provides a background to Fair Trade and its use for artisanal minerals and considers some of the opportunities and challenges for achieving the goals of Fair Trade in this sector. Questions are raised as to how we might optimally use Fair Trade as a tool for helping artisanal miners and their communities. This plenary presentation was given at the 7th Annual CASM Conference in UlanBaatar, Mongolia, on September 9th, 2007

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  • I believe we are at a critical moment in deciding what Fair Trade minerals will actually be able to achieve in terms of enabling sustainable development. It is therefore my aim to present to you some of the opportunities for meeting the goals of Fair Trade, as well as some of the challenges that are likely to disrupt the path to Fair Trade. I will also give a brief overview of what to expect in the Fair Trade workshop happening later today.
  • Fair Trade Minerals: Opportunities, challenges and finding a way forward for sustainable ASM

    1. 1. Fair Trade Minerals Opportunities, Challenges and Finding a Way Forward for Sustainable ASM Estelle Levin Minerals and Sustainability Consultant 9 th September 2007 CASM’s 7 th ACC, Ulaan Baatar, Mongolia
    2. 2. Ethical Branding <ul><li>FT is one of several potential ethical branding opportunities for jewellery minerals: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Peace / conflict-free </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Sustainable </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Green </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Ethical </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Responsible </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Regional </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fair Made </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Fair Trade </li></ul></ul>
    3. 3. Which Fair Trade? <ul><li>5 organisations using FT to define their ‘ethical’ minerals. </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Target Resources </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Columbia Gem House </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Rapaport Group </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Third party certified: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Thomas Siepelmeyer (University of Aachen) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Association for Responsible Mining (FLO) </li></ul></ul>
    4. 4. Background 1: Definition and Goals <ul><li>From ARM’s website, www.communitymining.org : </li></ul><ul><li>“ Fair Trade is a trading partnership based on dialogue, transparency and respect that seeks greater equity in international trade. It contributes to sustainable development by offering better trading conditions to, and securing the rights of, marginalized producers and workers - especially in the south.” </li></ul><ul><li>Fair Trade is a vehicle for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating local development in mining communities, particularly in the developing world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating continual improvement in the sustainability of supply chains as operators compete to attract ‘ethical’ buyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing conscientious consumers with suitable products which uphold their values </li></ul></ul>
    5. 5. Background 2: How does it work? <ul><li>Standard setting (minimum & progress requirements) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>labour practices </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>economic relations </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>social conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>ecological health </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Certification (third-party) </li></ul><ul><li>Producer support (enabling compliance) </li></ul><ul><li>*** </li></ul><ul><li>Scoping studies </li></ul><ul><li>Pilot projects (pre-certification of eligible communities) </li></ul><ul><li>FT certified producer organisations </li></ul><ul><li>*** </li></ul><ul><li>ARM: Standard-setting and producer support </li></ul><ul><li>FLO: Certification </li></ul>
    6. 6. Background 3: Which minerals? <ul><li>JEWELLERY-RELEVANT </li></ul><ul><ul><li>precious metals: gold, silver platinum </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>diamond </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>precious stones: sapphire, ruby, emerald, etc. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>semi-precious stones: amethyst, beryl, citrine, aquamarine </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>alloy metals: copper, cobalt (?) </li></ul></ul><ul><li>OTHER INDUSTRIES? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>base metals? coltan, copper, cobalt, tin, lead </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>industrial materials? gypsum, sand, granite, marble </li></ul></ul>
    7. 7. Background 4: Who can participate? <ul><li>Any mining organisations that have demonstrated: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>successes in achieving the socio-economic and/or environmental development of the miners and/or their communities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that they operate legally or are in a process for formalising their activities, </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>that they consider it desirable to participate in the FT process. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Any ‘ethical’ traders, refiners, and jewellers who wish to participate. </li></ul><ul><li>Any artisanal and small-scale mining organisations , including public (government) bodies. </li></ul>
    8. 8. Goals <ul><li>Fair Trade is a vehicle for </li></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating local development in mining communities, particularly in the developing world </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating continual improvement in the sustainability of supply chains as operators compete to attract ‘ethical’ buyers </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing conscientious consumers with suitable products which uphold their values </li></ul></ul>
    9. 9. <ul><ul><li>stimulating local development </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>stimulating continual improvement in the sustainability of supply chains </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>providing conscientious consumers with suitable products </li></ul></ul>Opportunities?
    10. 10. Opportunity 1: Stimulating local development? <ul><li>Fair Trade aims to help miners and their communities: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>escape the vicious circle of subsistence economy; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gain access to education, healthcare, and sustainable human development; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>benefit from better exchange terms; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>gain better access to markets </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>strengthen their position in the supply chain; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>improve environmental, labour and social conditions </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Based on ARM’s Standard Zero. </li></ul></ul>
    11. 11. Opportunity 2: Sustainable Supply Chains? <ul><li>Production (extraction & processing) </li></ul><ul><li>Refining </li></ul><ul><li>Manufacture ( materials ) </li></ul><ul><ul><li>metal sheets, wires, chains; </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>cut & polished stones </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Manufacture ( jewellery ) </li></ul><ul><li>Retail </li></ul>
    12. 12. Actors in the world of ‘ethical’ jewellery: Initiatives for Assurance, Standard- setting and Process Development Others: Rapaport, Madison Dialogue, Earthworks Yes Yes Ongoing debate Yes (as partners) No No Large-scale LSM LSM & retail ASM, (LSM?) & Retail ASM & Retail ASM ASM Principal Interests Yes  DDI (Diamond Development Initiative) Yes, in partnership with ARM  FLO (Fairtrade Labelling Organisation) No   CRJP (Council for Responsible Jewellery Practice)   (  ) Diamonds No Yes Yes ASM  IRMA (Initiative for Responsible Mining Assurance)   CASM (Communities and Small-scale Mining)  ARM (Association for Responsible Mining) Coloured Gems Gold & precious metals INITIATIVES
    13. 13. Actors in the world of ‘ethical’ jewellery: Producers CRED ARM Columbia Gem House Columbia Gem House Nepal Lao PDR China Afghanistan Asia ARM ARM ARM Thomas Siepelmeyer CRED Urth Solution Columbia Gem House Uganda Tanzania Mozambique Lesotho Ethiopia Madagascar Malawi Africa ARM ARM ARM ARM ARM ARM Peru Colombia Bolivia Argentina Guatemala Ecuador Latin America NGO/ Initiative / Company involved Countries Region
    14. 14. Actors in the world of ‘ethical’ jewellery: Suppliers of raw or manufactured ethical, artisanal minerals Also: Ethical Metalsmiths, S & P Trading, various refiners, etc. ‘ Fair Trade’ (University of Aachen)    Thomas Siepelmeyer  (industrially-mined)     Diamonds ‘ Mwadui diamonds’ De Beers (Mwadui Community Diamond Project) ‘ Ethical’  Urth Solution ‘ Fair trade’  Target Resources, plc. (PRIDE Diamonds) ‘ Fair Trade’ ‘ Peace diamonds’ ‘ Fair Made’  Rapaport Group ‘ Greenkarat’  ( recycled) Greenkarat The Eighty-Eight ® Finesse Diamonds ‘ Fairtrade’ (ARM)  CRED Jewellery ‘ Fair Trade’  Columbia Gem House BRAND / MARK Coloured Gems Gold & precious metals Brokers / suppliers
    15. 15. Actors in the world of ‘ethical’ jewellery: Jewellers Others : Simmons Jewelry Company, Ocean 1700, Reflective Images (all USA); Flamingo (Netherlands)        Diamonds Peace Diamonds, Madagascar gold, etc. Own supply (Panama, Bolivia, Rwanda, Kalahari) Thomas Siepelmeyer, EcoAndina Own supply Fair trade (ARM, COV), EcoAndina, Thomas Siepelmeyer Fair trade (ARM, COV, and own sources in Colombia, Peru, Ethiopia, Tanzania, India, Nepal) “ Fair trade diamonds” from Target Resources (Sierra Leone) “ conflict-free diamonds” (Canada) “ True Blue sapphires ®” from own mine (Australia) Sources  Brilliant Earth   Pippa Small  CRED Jewellery  Rapaport Group   Ingle & Rhodes Finesse Diamonds   Fifi Bijoux Coloured Gems Gold & precious metals Jewellers
    16. 16. Opportunity 3: Enabling Conscientious Consumption <ul><li>GROWING MARKET for FAIR TRADE </li></ul><ul><li>Consumption of Fair Trade products grew by 40% in 2006 </li></ul><ul><li>Increasing demand for ‘ethical’ jewellery in the UK, USA, and Europe </li></ul><ul><li>Enormous and expanding markets for jewellery in China and India </li></ul>
    17. 17. Challenges
    18. 18. Challenges 1: Development of ASM communities <ul><li>Universal vs. local </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Compatibility between universal system for FT and local and regional diversity of ASM. </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Finding ethical sources! </li></ul><ul><ul><li>OVERDEMAND for FT or ethical metals and gems (time/space gap) </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>DIVERSE CAPABILITIES / COMPLIANCE GAP </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>COMMUNITY-BASED only </li></ul></ul><ul><li>Expanding Fair Trade into non-jewellery minerals. </li></ul>
    19. 19. Challenges 2: Sustainable Supply Chains <ul><li>From ethical production to ethical supply chain </li></ul><ul><li> PARTIAL vs. COMPREHENSIVE compliance </li></ul><ul><li>Traceability & assurance </li></ul><ul><ul><li>How to prevent conventional gold from entering the FT chain. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Batch refining, exporting, manufacturing </li></ul></ul>
    20. 20. Challenges 3: Conscientious Consumerism <ul><li>Proliferation of ‘ethical’ buyers and retailers. </li></ul><ul><li>Producer (ASM) control / input on language of commercialisation, e.g. marketing, promotional materials, ‘branding’ of the mineral </li></ul><ul><li>Different consumers have different values </li></ul>
    21. 21. Conclusions <ul><li>Multiple stakeholders across sectors and cultures </li></ul><ul><li>FT as the ‘catch-all’ ethical category in the minerals sector. </li></ul>
    22. 22. Fair Trade Session Objectives <ul><li>To contribute to ARM's FT process. </li></ul><ul><li>To produce recommendations on how to tackle several of the challenges related to building sustainable ASM communities through FT certification. </li></ul><ul><li>To consider what CASM’s role should be in implementing these recommendations and in the FT movement generally. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Fair Trade Session Questions <ul><li>FT gold in Asia? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Where are possible pilot sites in Asia? </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the specific opportunities and challenges? </li></ul></ul><ul><li>What are the challenges and opportunities for expanding Fair Trade into other minerals? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>jewellery relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>non-jewellery relevant </li></ul></ul><ul><li>How do we deal with overdemand without undermining the FT process? </li></ul><ul><ul><li>What are the possible models for ramping up supply? e.g. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Is there a way of buying from pre-certified mines? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>What about separate certification of communities who aren’t FT compliant, but who demonstrate strengths in one area or another? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Could consumers pay an ethical surcharge on conventional gold, to fund work in pre-certified communities to bring them to compliance? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Should Fair Trade be for artisanal mining only, i.e. should large-scale mines be allowed to produce Fair Trade Gold? Is this a threat or an opportunity? </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><li>What role should CASM have in these efforts? </li></ul>
    24. 24. contacts <ul><li>Estelle Levin, Cambridge, UK </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul><ul><li>+44 1223 241 042; </li></ul><ul><li>+44 78 76 74 3587 </li></ul>