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WDC Urges That Consumers’ Concern for Product Integrity Be Addressed

Kimberley Process considers options for strengthening KPCS.

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WDC President Stephane Fischler addressing the Closing Session of the KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India, on June 21, 2019.

(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – As the 2019 Intersessional Meeting of the Kimberley Process (KP) wrapped up on June 21 in the Indian city of Mumbai, WDC President Stephane Fischler expressed confidence that progress has been made in the effort to reach consensus on the review and reform of the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme (KPCS). He called on participants to agree on the measures necessary for strengthening the KPCS’s impact, both in improving the lives and prospects of communities in the mining areas, and also in meeting the expectations of consumers in the jewelry markets.

“What is essential is that, together, we send a clear signal to the outside world, including consumers, that the Kimberley Process remains a vitally relevant institution, which is able to evolve and adapt according to changing conditions. This must be the case at the upstream end of the chain of value, as it is at the downstream end,” he stated.

WDC President Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda intervening during a session of 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting in Mumbai, India.

At the same time, said the WDC President, recognition of the need to reform should never detract from the very significant achievements the KP has achieved to date. Indeed, he stated, the WDC itself has been remiss in highlighting that developmental programs for artisanal miners that its members are currently involved in launching in places like Sierra Leone, Guinea, DRC and others would have been impossible were it not for the role of the KPSC in returning peace to these areas.

The WDC remains committed to developing such programs, he said, but they are undermined when acts of violence bring the integrity of the diamond into question. “We will continue to stand on the front lines, highlighting our concerns and advancing and promoting solutions, he said. “To do that, we require the understanding, cooperation and support of all players in the chain of value. If we see consumers turning away, our market share shrinks, revenues fall, and all of us will feel the pain.”

While, as the diamond and jewelry industry’s representative in the tripartite KP the WDC has non-voting observer status, its 11-person team at the KP Intersessional, led by Mr. Fischler and WDC Executive Director Marie-Chantal Kaninda, played key roles in various sessions of the plenary and working groups, and in particular Peter Karakchiev, a WDC Board member from Alrosa, who chairs the Working Group of Diamond Experts (WGDE) and the subcommittee on the creation of a permanent KP Secretariat.

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Mr. Karakchiev also organized and moderated a Special Forum at the meeting in Mumbai on June 19, which delved into the promotion of the Diamond Terminology Guidelines that were adopted as KP Best Practices last year. Most speakers in that forum were representatives of WDC member bodies. They included Karla Basselier, of the Antwerp World Diamond Center (AWDC); Sanjay Shah, of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council (GJEPC); David Bouffard of Signet Jewelers; and Elodie Daguzan of Rubel & Ménasché.

The WDC members spoke about efforts being taken by the industry to bridge the expectations of stakeholders in the diamond producing countries and the growing demand by Millennial and Generation Z jewelry buyers that the products they buy have ethical and social value.“We cannot afford to have our competitors in the marketplace using the perceived shortcomings of the Kimberley Process to sell their own products,” said Mr. Bouffard during the Special Forum on diamond terminology.

A second Special Forum on June 19 looked at grass-roots programs being operated in diamond industry communities. It featured Feriel Zerouki, of WDC member De Beers Group, who presented the GemFair initiative in Sierra Leone, which is working to formalize and support artisanal miners in the diamond value chain; and Sabyasachi Ray of GJEPC, who outlined the Swasthya Ratna Policy, a heavily-subsidized health care plan created by his organization for workers in the Indian jewelry sector and their families, which eventually could provide comprehensive coverage to more than 5 million people.

To download a full copy of the WDC President’s speech to the Closing Session of the 2019 KP Intersessional Meeting, please click here.

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Diamond Empowerment Fund Now Doing Business As Diamonds Do Good

The change will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEW YORK – Seizing on the simplicity, significance and resonance of its “Diamonds Do Good” tagline, the Diamond Empowerment Fund announced that it will evolve its business name to Diamonds Do Good. In keeping with the change, the non-profit organization has reimagined its logo and will be doing the same to its signature Las Vegas event held on the eve of the opening of the JCK Show.

Inspired by Nelson Mandela in 2007, over the past 12+ years the Diamond Empowerment Fund’s mission has supported programs that develop and empower people in diamond communities around the world. In recent years, its mission expanded to exemplify and tell the stories of the good that natural diamonds do for people in the communities where they’re mined, cut, polished, and sold. Those stories have resonated with consumers and the trade alike: consumers have a better image of the natural diamond industry, and are more interested in purchasing a natural diamond after reading the ‘do good’ stories hosted on diamondsdogood.com. Likewise, members of the industry now identify their own sustainability programs under the ‘do good’ banner and use #diamondsdogood in their social media outreach, further building on the message and ensuring that diamonds continue to be a source of sustained economic development around the world.

Having created and trademarked the Diamonds Do Good name in 2014, the organization will now identify itself under this moniker moving forward, and has rebranded itself with a fresh, new look to mark this evolution. It will be celebrated at DDG’s signature event June 1 in Las Vegas, as a reimagined evening and experience that draws the industry’s top global leaders.

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Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair to Be back in February 2020

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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(PRESS RELEASE) Apart from showcasing extravagant collections of jewelry and offering an international trading platform twice a year, the Bangkok Gems & Jewelry Fair has become a place where trust is established, and where business partners have turned into friends from long years of trading.

With quality products from manufacturers, traders and designers, lasting relations could be enhanced at the 65th edition of the Bangkok Gems and Jewelry Fair from February 25 to 29, 2020 in Bangkok, Thailand.

For the pre-registration form, click here. Email the form back at ttclausa@att.net or FAX: 323 466 1559.

Respond by February 14th, 2019 to get special free privilege for Trade Missions.

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Jewelers Mutual Donates $500,000 to Three Organizations in Charitable Campaign for 2019

The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

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(PRESS RELEASE) NEENAH, WI — In honor of Giving Tuesday, Jewelers Mutual Group announced the culmination of its charitable campaign for 2019, resulting in $500,000 in donations to three deserving organizations. Funds were distributed this week to Feeding America, the Kids In Need Foundation and Special Olympics. The amounts donated to these organizations were based on votes by the company’s personal jewelry policyholders.

“It is important to have our policyholders be a part of our give back efforts because we share a mutual passion to help others in need. By encouraging them to vote, they made their voices heard, and were able to support the causes they are passionate about,” said Scott Murphy, Jewelers Mutual president and CEO. “Together, we really can do more, and we’re thrilled with the interest, engagement and the results this campaign has received both locally and on a national level.”

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More than 40,000 votes were made by Jewelers Mutual policyholders during the five-month voting period. Based on policyholder votes, Feeding America received $178,300, Kids In Need Foundation received $169,500, and Special Olympics received $147,200. Donations will also be made to Canadian organizations with similar missions.

How policyholders’ votes and corresponding Jewelers Mutual donations impacted the three organizations:

  • Feeding America
    The donation of $178,300 helps provide at least 1,783,000 meals.*
  • Kids In Need Foundation
    The donation of $169,395 supplies over 820 classrooms and 21,000 under-served students with supplies and resources. Additionally, Jewelers Mutual became the first national sponsor of GiftATeacher.org, a program which funds and provides enough school supplies to supply an entire classroom for a full semester.
  • Special Olympics
    The donation of $147,200 by Jewelers Mutual helped train approximately 2,450 Special Olympics athletes and provide a significant and life changing impact for individuals with intellectual disabilities.

Jewelers Mutual encourages and supports its employees to be socially responsible and involved in their community. In addition to the dollars being donated, employees volunteered their time to assist all three organizations in 2019– sorting meals and stocking food for Feeding America Eastern Wisconsin, a member of the Feeding America network; taking part in the Polar Plunge for Special Olympics; and, packing and distributing 2,000 backpacks for the Kids In Need Foundation.

Jewelers Mutual looks forward to continuing its philanthropic pursuits in 2020 to support charitable organizations important to its employees and policyholders. For more information on how Jewelers Mutual gives back, visit JewelersMutual.com/social-responsibility and check out this video and infographic highlighting the past year.

*$1 helps provide at least 10 meals secured by Feeding America on behalf of local member food banks.

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