Fairtrade: expanding certification from gold to silver
Expanding Fairtrade certification from gold to silver is a 'natural move' that will benefit some of the estimated 100 million people across the world dependent on small-scale mining
The Fairtrade Foundation which is already working with several certified mines, called its expansion into silver mining, a by-product of the gold extraction process without the use of toxic chemicals.
The certification scheme has continued to expand past food products into other commodities and the launch of Fairtrade gold in 2011 signalled the start of Fairtrade's foray into the precious metals market.
The move threw a spotlight on the widespread corruption, poverty and dangerous working conditions faced by millions of small-scale artisanal miners and their families working in the global gold industry.
The first Fairtrade Fairmined silver has been launched onto the UK market: The framework for silver will operate the same way as for gold – artisanal communities will be offered a price of at least 95% of the London Bullion Market's (LBMA) fix for silver. Prices are fixed at source and set between the miners and the buyer directly to ensure that the communities directly recoup the value of the gold or silver, cutting out the potential for the miners to be exploited by middle-men or local markets.