The Fairtrade Foundation today unveiled an exciting new initiative as part of its Fairtrade Gold campaign, tagged ‘I DO’, to stamp out practices that have tarnished the jewellery industry’s reputation.
The push will kick off with a series of five nationwide conferences which will be held across England, Scotland and Wales throughout September and October. It will also include the launch of a unique new e-learning platform, a Fairtrade gold business advice clinic and seminar hosted by International Jewellery London (IJL), and the creation of a suite of new business resources and new campaigner literature.
The conferences will be attended by leading activists from Fairtrade’s passionate network 10,000 local campaigning groups, including Towns, Schools, Universities and Faith Groups. Each event is designed to inspire, motivate and equip community networks to help boost awareness of Fairtrade Gold jewellery in their local area to help drive sales.
Fairtrade’s campaigner network will be asked to reach out to jewellers on their high street to ask them to sell Fairtrade Gold. They will also promote the buying of Fairtrade gold jewellery in their community as a way for everyone, no matter who they are, to use the power of their purchase to make a difference to lives of miners. Faith group activists will attend wedding fairs and church and community events to drive home their message.
Two gold miners from Fairtrade mining projects in Peru and Kenya will speak at each of the five campaigner conferences. They will also visit leading independent jewellery stores around the country and give talks at campaigner-led public events.
Dan Omondi Odida, General Secretary, Micodepro, Kenya will explain how the tiny specks of precious gold help keep his community above the breadline. Millions of men and women in his home county mine by hand the seams of gold around Lake Victoria informally at best, illegally at worst. Many are indebted to middle men and the gold they sell often trades dramatically below the global price. Through Fairtrade, Dan’s group has been trained in health and safety, how to use mercury safely and business skills.
Roger Arcos Ponte from Peru will explain how it is only through sales of their gold on Fairtrade terms that the miners and their communities can reap the full reward of being Fairtrade certified.
Kevin McCullough, Head of Campaigns at the Fairtrade Foundation said: “If Fairtrade Gold becomes the norm in the jewellery industry, the impact could be enormous. This could break the poverty cycle of millions of miners who are cut out of the benefits of this lucrative trade. As consumers and campaigners, we all carry the power in our pocket to make that change.”
To boost jewellery sales further, a new online service aimed at supporting the UK jewellery trade to understand and better market and sell Fairtrade Gold is set to launch in February 2017, around Fairtrade Fortnight, the Fairtrade Foundation’s biggest annual promotional campaign. The first of its kind, the e-learning platform will bring to life the story of our jewellery through the eyes of a gold miner, helping the participant to feel part of the journey, whether it be selling, campaigning or advocating to empower miners to make a better life for themselves.
The website will be designed with input from industry experts including the National Association of Jewellers and the Company of Master Jewellers. It aims to equip sales staff and jewellers with enough information and training to sell Fairtrade Gold jewellery with confidence. They will be able to explain to customers how a chronic lack of supply transparency is endemic in the industry, and if you don’t know where your gold is from, you don’t know under what conditions it has been mined. Upon completion of the training course, participants will receive a certificate in acknowledgement.
Fairtrade Gold stops exploitation. It can be traced from the mine through the refining process.
Kevin added: “Fairtrade Gold stops exploitation. It can be traced from the mine through the refining process. This is backed up by documentation of all the transactions between miners and licensed jewellers. It means consumers and jewellers know that Fairtrade Gold comes from a socially and environmentally responsible, child labour-free source which has economic benefits for miners.
“We all remember how the issue of exploitation by the jewellery industry made news headlines two years ago when one of the largest refineries in Dubai was exposed for laundering conflict gold. It later emerged that hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of suspect gold poured into the global markets including the UK”.
A business advice clinic will be held at IJL on 6th September, 10.00-11.00 by Fairtrade’s commercial team Victoria Waugh and Toby Rule. They will give advice to manufacturers, goldsmiths, brands and retailers about how to use Fairtrade Gold in their business and benefit from the world’s most recognized certification mark on your jewellery. The clinic will be followed by a seminar in the Inspiration Theatre at 11.30am, where delegates can hear how jewellery businesses such as Hockley Mint and Anna Loucah have made Fairtrade Gold work for them. More information via IJL website.
The Fairtrade Foundation’s ‘I Do’ gold campaign launched in 2015 and aims to generate $1 million in Fairtrade Premium for disadvantaged mining communities around the world. Fairtrade brings miners together to formalise what they do, improve working conditions and eliminate child labour. I Do’ has already seen success in UK, Germany and the Netherlands. For more information, visit fairtrade.org.uk/gold.
How To Make The Shipping Industry Greener
Each and every year more damage is done to our planet. When businesses are arranging pallet delivery or any other kind of shipping, the environment usually isn’t their number one concern. However, there’s an increasing pressure for the shipping industry to go greener, particularly as our oceans are filling with plastic and climate change is occurring. Fortunately, there’s plenty of technology out there to help with this. Here’s how the freight industry is going greener.
Make Ship Scrapping Cleaner
There are approximately 51,400 merchant ships trading around the world at the moment. Although the act of transporting tonnes of cargo across the ocean every year is very damaging to the environment, the scrapping of container ships is also very harmful. Large container ships contain asbestos, heavy metals and oils which are toxic to both people and the environment during demolition. The EU has regulations in place which ensure that all European ships are disposed of in an appropriate manner at licenced yards and the International Maritime Organisation (IMO) introduced guidelines to make recycling of ships safe and environmentally friendly back in 2009, but since then only Norway, Congo and France have agreed to the policy. The IMO needs to ensure that more countries are on board with the scheme, especially India, Bangladesh and Pakistan, which are some of the worst culprits for scrapping, which may mean enforcing the regulations in the near future.
A single large container ship can produce the same amount of emissions as 50 million cars, making international shipping one of the major contributors towards global warming. Stricter emissions regulations are needed to reduce the amount of emissions entering our atmosphere. The sulphur content within ship fuel is largely responsible for the amount of emissions being produced; studies have shown that a reduction in the sulphur content in fuel oil from 35,000 p.p.m to 1,000 p.p.m could reduce the SOx emissions by as much as 97%! The IMO has already begun to ensure that ships with the Emission Control Areas of the globe, such as the Baltic Sea, the North Sea and the English Channel, are using this lower sulphur content fuel, but it needs to be enforced around the world to make a significant difference.
As it’s not currently practical or possible to completely phase-out heavy, conventional fuels around the world, a sulphur scrubber system can be added to the exhaust system of ships to help reduce the amount of sulphur being emitted.
Better Port Management
As more and more ships are travelling around the world, congestion and large volumes of cargo can leave ports in developing countries overwhelmed. Rapidly expanding ports can be very damaging to the surrounding environment, take Shenzhen for example, it’s a collection of some of the busiest ports in China and there has been a 75% reduction in the number of mangroves along the coastline. Destroying valuable ecosystems has a knock-on effect on the rest of the country’s wildlife. Port authorities need to take responsibility for the environmental impact of construction and ensure that further expansion is carried out sustainably.
Some have suggested that instead of expansion, improved port management is needed. If port authorities can work with transport-planning bureaus, they will be able to establish more efficient ways of unloading cargo to reduce the impact on the environment caused by shipping congestion.
What Kitchen Suits Your Style? Modern, Classic or Shaker?
A kitchen is the centre of the home. Your kitchen ranges between where friends and family gather, talk about their day, cook meals, have drinks, to somewhere you can just enjoy each other’s company. The kitchen is the heart of the home. But, everyone’s lifestyle is different. Everyone’s taste is different. So, you need a kitchen that not only mirrors your lifestyle but matches your taste too. Whilst some prefer a more traditional design, others want a modern feel or flair – and it’s all down to personal taste.
When it comes to redesigning your kitchen, what style would you go for? It’s a difficult one isn’t it. With so many different styles to go for, how can you know exactly what you want until you’ve seen it in action? Leading kitchen designer, Roman Kitchens, based in Essex, have provided three examples of bespoke kitchens and styles they specialise in, accompanied with beautiful images. This design guide will get you one step closer to picking your dream kitchen for your home.
New home in the city centre? Or even a sleek new modern build? You want a trendy and modern kitchen to reflect your city lifestyle. In modern kitchen design, colours are bolder and fresher, with sleek design and utilities that are distinctive and vibrant.
This modern kitchen is sleek and smooth with flawless design and beauty. Minimalism doesn’t stop this kitchen standing out. Featured walls of wood and vibrant mint green draw the eye, whilst the white surfaces reflect the light, illuminating every nook and cranny of this kitchen. This kitchen features products from Rotpunkt, innovators of modern kitchen design. Made with German engineering, a Rotpunkt Kitchen is the ultimate modern addition to your home. Rotpunkt Kitchens have timeless design and amazing functionality, they work for every purpose and are eco-friendly. Sourced from natural materials, a Rotpunkt kitchen uses 37% less timber, conserving natural forests and being more environmentally conscious.
Prefer a homely and traditional feel? Classic kitchens are warm, welcoming and filled with wood. Wood flooring, wood fixtures, wood furniture – you name it! You can bring a rustic feel to your urban home with a classic kitchen. Subtle colours and beautiful finishes, Classic kitchens are for taking it back to the basics with a definitive look and feel.
With stated handles for cupboards, Classic kitchens are effortlessly timeless. They convey an elegant but relaxing nature. Giving off countryside vibes, natural elements convey a British countryside feel. The wood featured in a classic kitchen can range between oaks and walnut, creating a warmth and original feel to your home. Soft English heritage colours add a certain mood to your home, softening the light making it cosier.
Any kitchen planner will tell you that the meeting point between traditional and modern design, is a Shaker kitchen. They have a distinctive style and innovative feel. Shakers are fresh, mixing different colour tones with stylish wood and vinyl. The most important feature of a Shaker kitchen is functionality – every feature needs to serve a purpose in the kitchen. Paired with stylish and unique furniture, a Shaker kitchen is an ideal addition to any home.
The ultimate marriage between Classic and Modern kitchens, this Shaker kitchen has deep colour tones with copper emphasis features. All the fittings and fixtures blur the line of modern and tradition, with a Classic look but modern colour vibe. Unique furniture and design make Shaker Kitchens perfect for the middle ground in kitchen design. Minimal but beautifully dressed. Traditional but bold and modern at the same time. Storage solutions are part of the functionality of Shaker kitchens, but don’t detour from conveying yours as a luxury kitchen.
Whatever you choose for your new kitchen, be it Modern, Classic or Shaker – pick whatever suits you. Taste is, and always will be, subjective – it’s down to you.