The Fairtrade Foundation says “giving gold jewellery is about love, romance and beauty. But all too often, how gold is mined is not a pretty story. That’s why the world’s first Fairtrade and Fairmined gold from South America will be launched for Valentine’s Day.“This groundbreaking move will open up new opportunities for of thousands of impoverished small-scale and artisanal miners in Peru, Bolivia and Colombia to sell under Fairtrade and Fairmined terms and through the Fairtrade premium invest in community projects. “Fairtrade and Fairmined gold has the potential to radically reform the gold jewellery sector, improving the lives of millions of miners and their communities in some of the world’s poorest regions.“Though artisanal and small-scale miners produce 10% of global gold supplies, they account for 90% of labour in gold extraction, experiencing high levels of poverty. The launch of Fairtrade and Fairmined certified gold provides a lifeline for communities who find themselves at the mercy of volatile markets, when agriculture and other livelihoods are not viable.“Many miners face exploitation from middle men who pay below market prices and cheat them on weight and purity of the gold content. Mining community members lack basic sanitation, clean and safe drinking water and have poor housing, little or no access to education or healthcare and are financially unstable. Fairtrade and Fairmined certification is an important development tool, and will complement other development interventions.The project was first piloted by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), with nine mining organisations in Bolivia, Colombia, Ecuador and Peru. More producer organisations from Latin America will shortly join the system. ARM is also establishing a network of pilot projects in Africa, and later in Asia. “Fairtrade and Fairmined gold will be initially launched in the UK and then rolled out to other countries with a long term vision of capturing 5% of the gold jewellery market over a 15-year period. Fairtrade and Fairmined gold will be co-labelled, bearing both the FAIRTRADE Mark and the Fairmined Mark, demonstrating the strength of the partnership between the two organisations. “The FAIRTRADE Mark is a certification mark and a registered trademark of Fairtrade Labelling Organisations International (FLO) of which the Fairtrade Foundation is the UK member. The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent certification body which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE Mark on products which meet international Fairtrade standards. This independent consumer label is now recognised by 72% of UK consumers and appears on products as a guarantee that disadvantaged producers are getting a better deal. Today, more than 7.5 million people – farmers, workers and their families – across 58 developing countries benefit from the international Fairtrade system.“The Fairmined Mark ensures that the gold has been extracted and processed in a fair way and responsible manner. This means that the miners receive a fair price, good health and safety practises, care for the environment and participate in the social development of their communities. ARM is an international community-based multi-sector governed initiative created to enhance equity and wellbeing in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. ARM is committed to social justice and environmental responsibility as the values driving the transformation of ASM. “The partnership between Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) and ARM will create differentiated market access for gold products to support social, environmental and economic development outcomes for artisanal and small scale miners through:A credible programme of support and development for artisanal and small scale miners.A high profile and trusted product label to drive market access on terms that support development.ARM has the experience and networks to provide the necessary support, and Fairtrade labelling to create differentiated market access on terms that support development.