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Couples urged to say 'I do' to fairtrade gold rings

The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for couples of faith to play a vital role in trade justice when they marry ...

The Fairtrade Foundation is calling for couples of faith to play a vital role in trade justice when they marry.
Churches and faith groups have taken the lead in promoting Fairtrade goods over the past 20 years, but the job is not done, and the Fairtrade Foundation is now asking the religious community to encourage brides-to-be to choose wedding rings made from Fairtrade gold as part of their commitment to social, environmental justice and the principles of fair trade.
Fairtrade’s call to action is part to of a new bridal campaign, ‘I Do’ which launches next Spring and aims to generate $1 million in Fairtrade Premiums for small-scale mining communities by selling 100,000 wedding bands to 50,000 couples.
Reverend James Sharp from Bournemouth said: “'As a Church of England priest, I am delighted to support the Fairtrade Foundation’s “I Do” campaign. Fairtrade has its roots in the Christian concept of trade justice and it is great news that people can now buy wedding rings that represent and reflect the values of equality fairness and directly help to alleviate poverty.”
Greg Valerio, Fairtrade International gold and precious metals programme co-ordinator said: “The church's role is as significant today as it ever was as we continue to fight to bring the benefits to those who need it the most and to expand Fairtrade into new areas such as the luxury jewellery market. Christian organisations, in partnership with development agencies, helped Fairtrade’s jour­ney from marginal to mainstream.

“Small scale mining is the second biggest global employer, and many of those mines force their workers to labour long hours in dirty and dangerous conditions for a pittance, whilst we enjoy the high value, glittering jewellery made using their gold.”
Artisanal and small-scale mining is a poverty driven activity with the average daily wage being an estimated $2 and small-scale miners are the forgotten majority in the mining sector where more than 100 million people globally are dependent on it for their livelihoods. Small-scale miners work in remote, marginalised and harsh conditions, doing back-breaking work to scrap a living. They are consistently exploited by middle men, their access to markets is limited and they rarely receive a fair price for their gold.
Fairtrade gold is a ground breaking initiative that links consumers of jewellery with the source of their purchase and offers transparency, traceability, truth and justice embedded into the livelihoods of the millions of artisanal and small-scale miners across the world.
Couples celebrating the start of a life-long commitment with the people they love can choose Fairtrade gold engagement and wedding bands from over 150 retailers, jewellers, designers and goldsmiths listed at who have all signed up to support the campaign.
For more information, visit

Photo above left: Fairtrade mine, Aurelsa Gold, Peru – photo by Nigel Wright

Check out our story from February 2014 on ethical jewellery campaigner Greg Valerio ...

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