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Sunday, December 4, 2016
Argos and Goldsmiths missing links in campaign for clean gold
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¬†Today, CAFOD is urging thousands of campaigners to email the Chief Executives of two major jewellery retailers, Argos and Goldsmiths, to ask them to sign up to 'golden rules' to help minimise the harm done to communities and the environment by gold mining. CAFOD's campaign, Unearth Justice, has already received the backing of Beaverbrooks, F Hinds and Fraser Hart. But in spite of a year-long campaign, Argos and Goldsmiths have yet to sign up. At the present time it is difficult for jewellers to say with confidence how the gold in their products is mined. If the industry implemented the golden rules this would lead to greater transparency. Helen Wolfson, Head of Campaigns at CAFOD, said; "As industry leaders Argos and Goldsmiths can send a clear message across the industry and the supply chain that gold shouldn't be damaging developing countries. Argos and Goldsmiths should listen to the consumers who want them to back this campaign and the mining communities who need them to." Mining for the gold for one ring can create 18 tonnes of waste (equivalent of two double-decker buses) ≠ that may leach toxic metals and acid. CAFOD has also found evidence of cyanide and arsenic pollution, people being forced from their homes and environments being destroyed by large-scale gold mining activities. Britons spend £2bn on gold jewellery every year and jewellers have an influential role to play in championing the cause of clean gold with the industry A poll done on behalf of the charity found that one in four people claimed they would buy Fairtrade gold on sale, even if it meant paying more. CAFOD is campaigning to highlight the hidden harm caused by gold mining and to get governments and multinational businesses to give poor communities a much greater say in whether gold is mined, how is it mined and who benefits. Already over 100 high street shops have been presented with petitions that include 45,000 signatures calling on jewellers to take action. The industry standards are based on the No Dirty Gold campaign and the 12 'Golden Rules' include respect for human rights and free, prior and informed consent for affected communities. To call on Terry Duddy the chief executive of the group that owns Argos and Chairman and Chief Executive of Goldsmiths Jerzy Piasecki to sign up the 12 'Golden Rules' for clean gold visit www.cafod.org.uk
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