Gemma Cartwright & Victoria Waugh, business development manager and new products and standards development manager, The Fairtrade Foundation

For Victoria Waugh and Gemma Cartwright, two of the personalities promoting Fairtrade Fairmined gold to the UK jewellery market over the past 18 months, being adaptable is all part of the job.

“We work with such a wide variety of stakeholders, from individual miners, to huge refineries, small designer-makers to luxury jewellery brands,” says Gemma. “We have to be adaptable and able to look at the situation from numerous different angles. This is all part of the challenge, and the fun.”

Fairtrade Fairmined gold was launched in the UK industry in February 2011 with 20 designers given license to work with the metal from the outset. “I was really pleased by the jewellery sector’s positive response to Fairtrade and the willingness to change despite challenging times,” says Victoria. “We are now working with over 50 businesses, large and small.”

For Gemma this year has been about seeing where it all begins, and she visited her first African mine, where the Fairtrade Foundation is working extend its standards.

“Working innovatively with new supply chains and smallscale miners brings daily challenges, we have to remain passionate, focused and positive that we will reach the end goal on this long journey,” says Gemma. “The support we receive from the jewellers we work with is paramount to this: they are passionate about improving the way they do business and supporting us to improve the system.”

The duo explain the long-term goal to make Fairtrade and Fairmined gold the default purchase choice for consumers with the aim of it being widely available across the high street both in the UK and abroad.

“Next year we will be working to support many more jewellers to source gold on Fairtrade terms, and will be developing a marketing strategy to raise awareness with consumers,” says Victoria. “This work will happen in parallel with work to bring more Latin American and African mining communities into the system, which we can only bring in if there is demand from the jewellery sector. Therefore our message to the sector is choose Fairtrade and Fairmined gold.”