Five gold rings ... but are they Fairtrade?

December 21 2016

MOST of us now know about Fairtrade tea and coffee – but have you heard about Fairtrade gold?

MOST of us now know about Fairtrade tea and coffee – but have you heard about Fairtrade gold?

If not, let the  children of Christ Church Juniors in Downend explain. They are helping to get the message out in 2017 about the issues surrounding gold mining.

Asked to give reasons why they would prefer to buy a Fairtrade ring for someone they loved, Year 5 pupils came up with comments such as  “because you are not just caring for your loved one, you are caring for the miners” and “a Fairtrade ring means the mines are much safer”.

Jonathan Seagrave, one of the local organisers of the Fairtrade Fortnight, said: “I've got a feeling this will be the next big thing. If you a buying a ring for someone you love, do you want it to contain mercury or cyanide or to have poisoned someone along the way? I think people will pay a bit more to be sure that miners work in conditions that meet standards and can get a fair price for their product.”

The Christ Church children have made a large piece of  Fairtrade gold themed artwork that  forms the centrepiece of a display touring  South Gloucestershire libraries between now and the end of February. The exhibition, launched at Downend Library,  illustrates some of the problems of small scale gold mining, mercury use and how simple technology can make artisan mining much safer and acquire Fairtrade status.

Chair of South Gloucestershire Council Councillor Erica Williams said: “It was a pleasure to visit Downend Library with the local school children and view this fantastic exhibition, which includes the beautiful artwork that they worked hard to create.

"Fairtrade helps ensure producers around the world get a fair price for their products, and it was particularly interesting to find out more about the issues surrounding gold mining.”

You can see the display at Yate Library until January 7 and at Kingswood Library from January 9-28.  Fairtrade Fortnight 2017  runs from Monday February 27 to Sunday  March 12.