Artisanal and small-scale mining involves millions of men and women worldwide, working on an individual basis, in family groups or cooperatives, using relatively simple methods of exploration, extraction and processing. Responsibly extracted gold from artisanal and small-scale mines is essential to our sourcing strategy, as it allows us to have full traceability from mine to market, while contributing to a positive socio-economic and environmental impact.
The artisanal and small-scale gold we purchase is exclusively sourced from mines located in Peru and Colombia, all participating either in the Swiss Better Gold initiative or in Fairmined and Fairtrade certification schemes.
The Fairmined Standard requires the miners to demonstrate that strict requirements for working conditions (including the prohibition of child labour) social development criteria and environmental protection are maintained during the mining process. We were directly responsible for a number of small scale mines achieving Fairmined certification, provided training, new processing plants and social and environmental support to help mines achieve the certification.
The Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA), a not-for-profit initiative created by Swiss players, from refiners to retailers in the gold supply chain, aims at creating a simple market-driven mechanism that enables formalised gold miners to adopt more socially inclusive and better environmental practices. Some 6,200 miners, both men and women, have benefited from the Swiss Better Gold Association, by complying with Swiss Better Gold Association criteria or its certification systems. In addition, 31,000 people have been helped indirectly thanks to improvements in the incomes of mining families and their communities*.
Ahead of our commitment to achieving 100% Ethical gold, our Maison joined the Swiss Better Gold Association as early as 2017 and has been represented on the Board of Directors since 2020.
*Source: Report from Mine to Market – A Value Chain of Responsible Gold, SECO and the Swiss Better Gold Association 2017-2021, p.10