EARTHblog » Scott Cardiff
February 25, 2011
An investigation in the Broward-Palm Beach and Miami New Times showed that Walmart's "Love, Earth" jewelry line comes at the cost of workers' rights, health, and safety, and at the cost of communities and the environment around the mines. The jewelry line claims to be from responsible sources but is made under oppressive labor conditions and with gold and silver from polluting mines in Nevada and Utah.
The Western Shoshone Defense Project and Great Basin Resource Watch joined EARTHWORKS in sending a letter to Walmart. The letter calls on Walmart to drop the Love, Earth label until the jewelry line has independent, third party verification that it complies with the Golden Rules for responsible sourcing, and has properly consulted with affected communities and civil society about responsible sourcing.
February 11, 2011
On Wednesday, UK jewelers announced the launch of "Fairtrade" gold jewelry. Some jewelers have already been using gold from these same Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) mines, but two of the mines have recently been certified "Fairtrade." What are these mines, and what does "Fairtrade gold" mean?
The mines, one in Colombia and one in Bolivia, demonstrate both the potential benefits and the problems of the Alliance for Responsible Mining/Fairtrade Labeling Organization certification standards for "Fairtrade" and "Fairmined." The mining and certification may well benefit the communities on the short-term, and the Colombian Oro Verde mine does not use mercury or cyanide. On the other hand, reclamation and restoration standards are poorly defined at both mines, and the Bolivian mine allows mercury use and is located in a National Park. The Colombian mine is in the Choc , a department that has experienced significant armed conflict.