Cred Launches the 1st African Fairtrade Gold
The first Fairtrade gold from Africa was used to make a symbolic ring which has the Fairtrade hallmark placed over where Uganda would be in a map of Africa. It’s made out of 18ct yellow gold and it will be auctioned in 2018.
The story behind the ring goes back a number of years. In May 2014, I attended the first conference on Fairtrade gold in Migori County, Kenya, having visited the mines in Tanzania and Kenya. Relationships were formed that have stood solid over the years until the dream became reality in September.
Alan with one of the Fairtrade mining teams in Uganda
When I first visited the mines, there was a lot of work to be done. They were doing everything by hand, selling in the local market at 60% of the LBMA gold price (London Bullion Market Association) and not understanding the actual value of what they were doing. After four years, they have replaced the use of Mercury to amalgamate the gold by using a Gold Katcha machine, which captures an extra 60% of gold from the same rich ore they have mined. We are now paying them 95% of the LBMA plus $2,000/kg Fairtrade premium. The miners are now getting a fair price for the ore that comes from their land.
There are many women involved in small scale mining in Uganda
The rural communities that have followed this path have undergone transformation on an unparalleled level. Fairtrade teams have organised training and support funded by Comic relief in the UK. Without the patience and help from them none of this would have happened.
The gold is collected in Entebbe and then shipped to the UK, when there is sufficient volume. The quantities are small by normal Fairtrade standards. Supplies from Peru are well established and shipments exceed 12 kg every time. In Africa, volumes are still small. There are plans to get nine mines into the system from Uganda, Tanzania and Kenya. Consolidated shipments will make availability more reliable.
Cred Jewellery will be bringing in more Fairtrade gold from Uganda during October. This will mean wedding and engagement rings made from African Fairtrade gold will be available in time for the Christmas market.