You may have heard and even bought fair trade coffee or chocolate, but gold may be another matter.
Luxembourg’s state savings bank BCEE, however, is getting behind the movement unveiling on Tuesday its first gold bullion bar bearing the Fair Trade certificate.
This label guarantees that everyone involved in the bar’s production receives a fair share of the commercial profits.
The gold bullion bars are available in weights of 5 or 10 grams and can be purchased for a price of 200 and 400 euros respectively. Each bar is stamped and its value will vary faily depending on the price of gold.
Buying Fair Trade certified gold is the best way to guarantee that gold miners, their families and communities have a better future. In addition to protecting the rights of workers, the Fair Trade label demands that producers invest further in their mines, which also benefit local communities.
For each kilo of gold sold, in addition to the minimum fair wage guaranteed, Fair trade receives a premium of 2,000 USD which is directly paid to the gold mining community of the Macdesa mine in Southern Peru, where the gold is mined.
Unlike large industrial mines, artisanal and small-scale mines are not fully mechanised, so the extraction of gold is labour-intensive.
“These revenues are invested in community projects such as schools, water supply infrastructure, construction of medical centres, and improved operation of farms,” said Jean-Louis Zeyen, President of Fair trade Lëtzebuerg, presenting the project on Tuesday.
“It is important to know that a ton of ore is necessary to collect 10 grams of gold, and this is done under particularly difficult conditions. Miners, most of whom are insufficiently organised, often work illegally and without safety measures, particularly with regard to the use of toxic products. These workers and their families are often in a precarious financial situation,” Zeyen said.
BCEE backed the project as part of its Corporate Social Responsibility strategy. The bars are available in all BCEE branches as well as on the bank’s website.