Over 40 years on the market + own production in China and Indonesia

Fair trade minerals - a personal statement by Marco Schreier

"Are your products produced under fair conditions?" I am asked more often. In general, fair trade, avoidance of child labor and the proper handling of minerals, precious and gemstones from around the world is a complex topic. From exploitative conditions to dedicated family farms where sheltered children also help out, there is a full range of situations.
Unfortunately, there is no established seal or certification for the minerals, such as GEPA's Fairtrade or any of the numerous organic seals for food and textiles with various standards. In addition, the minerals very often and in many countries go through complex trade structures until they finally end up with us. In the fewest cases, the goods are offered directly by the miners; this is usually done by traders who transport the treasures between the mines and trading and processing companies. between the mines and the trading and processing centers. Naturally, the exact places of origin are lost along these routes.
This is often by the traders and processors is so intentional, in order not to disclose in times of scarce resources, where exactly their goods come from. Often, the minerals and gemstones are not the actual main product of a mining operation, but rather industrial raw materials, ores, building materials and basic materials for industry are extracted. The minerals or fossils emerging in the process are a welcome extra income for the miners, who, depending on the situation on site, more or less legally and then pass them on at their own expense.
I consequently cannot give a simple answer to your question, nor can I confirm that all the stones in our range are fair trade. We trace the products as far back as we can and have close contacts with suppliers in many countries, are often on site and inform ourselves extensively. We believe that we can distribute the products we have in our program with a clear conscience. Obviously environmentally harmful things like coral or ivory you will not find in our program. These we do not trade out of basic Basic considerations not.



For most of our cut stones from China, we can be much more specific: nearly the entire range has either been created in our own manufacturing facility in Haifeng (southeast China) or has been in South China. We have a direct local presence, know all manufacturers personally and visit the grinders ourselves.
In China, schooling is compulsory and there has also been no economic hardship for a long time, especially in the very developed southeast of China. Child labor is forbidden here and also not desired by parents. One puts very much value on the education of children and promotes this strongly.

I've been visiting mines for over 30 years but to this day I haven't managed to climb into every mine in person; I probably won't manage this one either. We work together with local partners for a long time and are of course in constant exchange. The application of western standards to countries with their own culture, history and development is not always effective here and, depending on the form, also shows a certain arrogance towards the achievements of the local people. of the local people, without knowing the conditions and definitely without having experienced them. Here, in my opinion, you have to always be very sensitive and open umgehen. We attach importance to long-term and appreciative Cooperation, not on paternalism and avoid thereby of course to the best of our knowledge and belief unacceptable conditions.

We are member in the Fair Trade Minerals & Gems e.V. The association was founded by Michael Gienger and is dedicated to the support of small-scale mining and the education and training of people in mining in the less developed countries. We have raised over €50,000 so far at many house shows for the association and a project to support cooperatives in Honduras.

If you want to support the work of the association, you are of course welcome to donate or even become a member - the dedicated volunteers  staff would certainly be very happy! 

Homepage of the Fair Trade Minerals & Gems e.V.