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Fairtrade/Fairmined ASM Scoping Studies

Fairtrade/Fairmined ASM Scoping Studies


Client: The Alliance for Responsible Mining

Collaboration: N/A

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) is an independent, global-scale, pioneering initiative established in 2004 to enhance equity and well-being in artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities through improved social, environmental and labour practices, good governance and the implementation of ecosystem restoration practices.

Levin Sources conducted scoping studies in Sierra Leone, Tanzania and Uganda to assess the potential of fair trade gold from these countries. The aim was to identify producer organisations and potential partners for setting up Fairtrade/Fairmined gold production in Africa. The work was commissioned by the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM). In each case, the work was facilitated by a local partner, namely FBME Bank in Tanzania, the Foundation for Environmental Security and Sustainability in Sierra Leone, and the World Bank’s Sustainable Management of Mineral Resources Project in Uganda.

The studies, which included deskwork and fieldwork, required an assessment of the challenges and opportunities for the organized production and trade of ASM gold that could comply with an international social and environmental standard. Assessment of organizational structures, legislative frameworks, supply chains and trading relationships was done. They also considered compliance readiness—the ability of stakeholders within each country to meet basic social and environmental compliance criteria. The analysis involved site visit, document review, and interviews and workshops with miners, traders, government officials, vulnerable groups, development agencies, and other critical stakeholders. A key part of the work was also consultation on ARM’s ‘Standard Zero’ to see what changes were necessary to make it feasible in an African context.

As a result of this work, the Fairtrade Foundation raised £820,00 from Comic Relief to provide the technical assistance necessary to bring 9 groups in Uganda and Tanzania to compliance with the Fairtrade standard. We can expect the first Fairtrade Gold from these producers by 2016.

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