Fair Trade Jewellery Conference | Print |

The Rapaport Group, owned by diamantaire Martin Rapaport, has taken steps to advance awareness of jewellery as a sustainable economic force. Sponsored the Rapaport Fair Trade Jewelry Conference at the JCK Show in Las Vegas, it aimed to promote greater industry awareness of fair trade jewellery, with leading members of the jewellery trade debating the potential for the development of fair trade jewellery products and the establishment of fair trade jewellery standards.

The seminar discussed Fair Trade and how it could be applied to the jewellery industry, the benefits of Fair Trade jewellery to producers, the trade and consumers, how Fair Trade Standards can be established and enforced, and how to develop the market for Fair Trade jewellery.

"We believe that the jewellery industry is committed to improving the lives of more than one million people around the world who produce our products, yet live in abject poverty," said Rapaport, Chairman of the Fair Trade Jewelry Conference and the Rapaport Group. "As an industry we must recognize our responsibility to suppliers as well as customers by ensuring the fair treatment of everyone in the distribution system and environmentally correct sourcing of our products."

He believes the industry must create legitimate, fair and competitive diamond markets in Sierra Leone and other West African countries, whereby the local indigenous population receives tangible benefits from their countries’ gem resources. Rapaport noted that fighting the wrong impressions created by the Blood Diamond movie does not detract from the fact that thousands of alluvial diggers are surviving on a cup of rice a day in Sierra Leone which has the highest infant mortality rate in the world.