Love, wealth and luxury—we associate all of these with gold. But the truth behind this precious metal is not so glamorous.

gold uganda fair trade syanyonjaSmall-scale and artisanal miners account for 90% of mined gold. Around 220-330 tons of gold are produced annually, with 70% used to make jewelry on which we spend $135 billion each year!

Globally, 100 million people rely on small-scale and artisanal mining. Large industrial mining companies generally receive a majority of the rights to mine, and quite often small-scale miners are driven to operating unofficial or illegal mining setups. There have dangerously low health and safety standards, and miners are put in extremely dangerous conditions, including handling the toxic cyanide and mercury used to extract gold. These miners are at the bottom of the long, complex gold supply chain and have to make do with the low prices offered to them by traders.

Fairtrade gold provides miners with the Fairtrade Minimum Price and Fairtrade Premium ($907 per pound), used for business or community development projects such healthcare, education and clean water. Entering the Fairtrade gold certification system helps miners to improve the efficiency of their mining and business practices. The Fairtrade gold standards cover health and safety, chemical safety, child labor prevention work, environmental protection and women’s empowerment projects.

Learn more about Fairtrade gold and our work with other precious metals.

Case Studies