Fair Trade Jewellery Company (FTJCo) is an independent Canadian jeweller that creates and sells ethical jewellery. The company was founded in 2008 by Ryan Taylor (Chief Designer) and Robin Gambhir (CEO). Ryan Taylor has been working on a plan for ethically-sourced fine jewellery since 2006 while studying at George Brown University. It was also the year the film “Blood Diamond” came out, showing the horrors linked to the diamond industry. From gold to platinum and even the diamonds, every piece of their jewellery is Fairtrade certified.
FAIR TRADE JEWELLERY COMPANY : the way to Fare Trade Certification in the Jewellery industry
1. Organizational Governance
Strategy and organization
- Reduce the use of cyanide and mercury in the mining areas
- Make the industry more transparent
- Protect the miners and their community
From the beginning FTJCo’s aim has always been ethically sourced fine jewellery.
Convinced that he must go further than pursuing certifications in providing fair –trade jewellery-- a time-consuming and expensive process—Ryan Taylor decided to build his own supply chain. FTJCo works in parnership with NGO‘s such as Fair Trade Labelling Organizations (FLO) and Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) well established in the mining areas of Peru, Bolivia and Columbia.
The partnership between these organizations result in the products being Fairtrade and Fairmined certified. The NGO’s ensure fair wages and decent work environments for workers as well as a Fairtrade premium. They also make sure that the gold is extracted in a sustainable way as to protect the environment. This gold comes from Artisanal and Small-scale Mining (ASM) communities. FTJCo works for example, with the Fundacion Amigos Del Choco (AmiChoco), which sponsors sustainable mining factories (surface mining, without the use of heavy machinery or mercury) in peasant communities doing small-scale mining in Columbia. The profits from AmiChoco gold are reinvested in the people and communities that mined it.
Thanks to this system, FTJCo can trace down where and even who extracted the precious metal.
The diamonds used are all certified as Canadian. Part of the motivation for that is the wish to support Canadian industries, but it also means that the stones were mined under Canada’s environmental regulations and free of child labour or conflict.
The supply chain is simple: Miners > NGO > FTJCo. This transparency allows the client retrace the story of his jewel from South America to Toronto. A little black Fairtrade stamp on the jewel certifies its origin.
The partnership between these 2 NGO’s and FTJCo has led to the certification of other sites in Africa. Since 2013, 11 extracting mines in South Africa (Kenya, Uganda, Tanzania) are waiting to be certified Fairtrade &Fairmined..
CONTRIBUTION TO COMPANY PERFORMANCE
- First jeweller in North America and the second in the world (after Chopard) to use Fairmined certified gold
- Positive image of the company: one of the most certified jewellery companies in world
- No impact on the sales yet, FTJCo is hoping to change this by wholesaling their line to other jewlers
- Miners have safe working conditions and are paid a fair wage
- The environment is preserved
- Guaranty of not participating in mining conflicts