(PRESS RELEASE) OTTAWA, IL – The Diamond Development Initiative announces a partnership with UL Consumer and Retail Services that will strengthen its implementation and auditing of Maendeleo Diamond Standards.
As one of the world’s largest providers of supply chain auditing and monitoring services, UL is a global leader in testing, inspections and responsible sourcing.
According to the terms of this new agreement, UL will continue providing an annual pro bono review of the Maendeleo Diamond Standards and any updates and revisions proposed by DDI.
Among the services offered, UL will also develop materials and provide training to DDI staff on responsible sourcing and social auditing practices. DDI will use these resources to train its partner organizations and improve understanding of responsible sourcing practices in Sierra Leone and the DRC.
The Maendeleo Diamond Standards certification system is a unique effort to regulate artisanal diamond mining operations to ensure health and safety of miners, respect for human rights and sustainable environmental practices. Maendeleo is a Swahili word meaning “development” and “progress.”
Following the auditing and certification process, the diamonds produced through MDS-compliant operations may be integrated into existing responsible supply chains, providing artisanal miners with access to international markets and offering conscientious consumers a unique and ethical product.
Through its partnership with DDI, UL will contribute to improving the living and working conditions of artisanal diamond miners and their families.