Argos Offers Fairtrade Gold
Argos is now the first UK high street retailer online to launch Fairtrade gold rings in stores nationwide.
The new lines of wedding bands are available in four different styles and went on sale on 16th July 2016, retailing from £99.99.
Each Fairtrade Wedding Ring will be imprinted with the unique Fairtrade Gold Stamp so that couples know that the miners were paid a fair price for the gold plus an extra amount of money in the form of the Fairtrade Premium, to invest in building their future.
The Fairtrade gold in the rings comes from the SOTRAMI gold mine, located in the Atacama desert in Peru, 70 miles from the nearest town. The artisan small scale mining community consists of 500 families and had little access to amenities such as shops and health care before selling on Fairtrade terms.
Since becoming certified, the miners have helped to improve the lives of the town’s inhabitants by investing the Fairtrade Premium in a primary school and dentistry and a not-for-profit grocery store in the community so that people can buy food at affordable prices. In the future they plan to help improve health care, waste management, electricity and water supplies for the town’s inhabitants.
Artisanal small scale mining is driven by poverty and draws people who have no other option. When unregulated, the conditions faced by miners can be dangerous and polluting. Miners are often exploited by middle men and don’t receive a fair price for their gold. It is estimated that tens of thousands of children are empowered in the sector.
Mercury and cyanide are used to extract gold from hard rock, so unskilled handling of these toxic chemicals poses severe risks to miners’ health, their communities and the natural environment.