‘The middlemen fear that when we are organised, it won’t be so easy to exploit us – that’s why we were so excited when we heard about Fairtrade. Before Fairtrade, we were just dying in silence.’ Josephine Aguttu, Tiira small-scale miners association
Josephine’s cooperative, based in Eastern Uganda, have been on a journey to become certified as Fairtrade Gold miners.
We know not to eat mercury. They didn’t. Before Fairtrade, a baby was born blind from mercury poisoning. Mothers used the same equipment to separate gold from ore, wash vegetables and bathe their children. Through Fairtrade, training and safety measures have been implemented to make lives safer.
Gold mining is a dangerous industry and life for miners is tough. Artisanal and small-scale miners do not have alternative livelihoods and the fluctuating price of gold makes it difficult to make a decent living.
We in Guernsey should be rightly proud that we have radically changed the way companies treat farmers and workers trapped in poverty through promoting Fairtrade Gold.
But, we need to keep up the pressure. Together, with people power, we can change this. We can make this industry less toxic through raising awareness of Fairtrade Gold, which provides people with the tools to make their livelihoods safer and more sustainable.
Fairtrade is vital to small-scale producers globally, so let’s keep on working!
Planning a wedding? Don’t forget, Ray & Scott on the Bridge, St Sampson’s now stock a lovely range of Fairtrade wedding bands. Make your day memorable and help poor farmers and producers at the same time. And, don’t forget Fairtrade flowers, Fairtrade wine, chocolate and Fairtrade favours!