October 05 2017

Monica returns from Peru

Working with the women at Macdesa, a small scale gold mine in Peru.
“The Pallaqueras”


Monica Garcia, supply chain manager of Cred, reports from Peru.

Monica loves her job. She works directly with the communities of the Fairtrade gold mines in Peru. Monica works to ensure fairness for the communities that provide the raw material for our jewellery. She has just returned from a 10-day trip to strengthen Cred’s relationships with the communities that produce our Fairtrade gold.

'For the past 10 years, my role at Cred has involved a high level of storytelling, because every single piece of jewellery that we create comes from a mine somewhere. By sourcing directly from artisanal and small-scale mines, we can pass on the story to our customers and add further value to our jewellery.  Relationships are at the core of how we do things, 100% from mine to market, this way I can share with Cred’s customers, the people and its community behind our jewellery.

During my last trip to Macdesa in Peru, one of my objectives was to ensure that we establish, evaluate and determine how to implement a sewing workshop with the “Pallaqueras” as a secondary source of income to help improve their standard of living. “Pallaqueras “ is the name by which women are known at the mining operation site. Those women make a living by sorting out the waste process rocks that are worth nothing to the miners, because the gold content is so minimal that it doesn’t make economical sense to process it at the plant. Despite that, the Pallaqueras still collect and process those rocks that are not valuable to the miners. The job is hard and dusty due to working through the discarded mineral rocks.

Cred, in association with Lucy Reece-Raybould at the Company of Master Jewellers (CMJ), raised money to subside a sewing machine workshop. This will enable the women to produce the clothing and uniforms for the community. The needs are determined by the mining community itself. Our job is to support them wherever possible, as long as the expectations are real. That is why our visits are essential. For me, it is a privilege to be able to take part first-hand in this project and to be part of something so constructive. This project will improve these women's lives, because this work will give them dignity and purpose