The difficult search for fair trade gold

The production of one single golden ring generates 20 tonnes of highly toxic waste and requires 50,000 litres of water. These numbers are impressive. Also, mining companies are seldom champions in respecting the local populations.

The sector tries to redeem its negative image with standards and codes while NGOs work with cooperatives of artisanal miners towards producing fair trade gold.

The first fair trade jewels were sold in 2011, but there are still many obstacles to overcome before miners will actually enjoy a better – golden? – future.