Silver certified by the Fairtrade Foundation as satisfying more stringent ethical standards has made its worldwide debut in Britain at a jewellery retailer in the south of England.
Reuters reports that CRED Jewellery, based in Chichester in southern England, has imported 3 kilograms of "Fairtrade" silver from Peru's Sotrami mine.
The Fairtrade Foundation certifies that silver has been mined in accordance with improved ethical standards, in exchange for the payment of a percentage premium from buyers which is subsequently invested in social projects situated within mining communities themselves.
CRED Jewellery paid a 10% Fairtrade premium on its Fairtrade silver from Peru, and expects this to translate into an increase of 5% in jewellery retail prices for the end consumer.
Alan Frampton, director of CRED Jewellery, highlighted the onerous labor and living conditions of many small-scale miners in the developing world.
"There is a huge amount of corruption in the precious metals world and people are being kept in poverty by corrupt traders," said Frampton.
The Fairtrade Foundation is an independent non-profit organization established in 1992 which licenses the use of the FAIRTRADE brand on mineral products mined in accordance with international standards.
The Foundation expects Fairtrade gold to account for 5% of the international market over the next 15 years, as well as the delivery of an increased amount Fairtrade and Fairmined jewellery in the UK over the next several months.