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RJC, Italy to Cooperate on Responsible Business Practice Initiative

May 18, 2012 10:42 AM   By RJC
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Press Release: The Italian Ministry of Economic Development, Confindustria Federorafi and the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC) agreed on a memorandum of understanding  to work cooperatively on advancing their shared objectives to improve social, environmental and labor practices and good governance in the Italian jewelry sector.

Activities around these objectives focus on a seminar series, designed for companies belonging to the main Italian gold manufacturing districts, as well as for a guidance initiative on due-diligence in the supply chain and for the development of a first set of indicators suited for communicating and managing ethical and environmental impacts of jewelry companies.

All initiatives will be complementary to the spreading of responsible principles contained in the OECD due-diligence guidance for responsible supply chains of minerals from conflict-affected and high-risk areas.

The participating organizations will collaborate to ensure the modalities of their initiatives are mutually supportive. To that end, RJC will provide concrete support to Italian jewelry companies who wish to commit to responsible business practices through its certification standards: RJC Member Certification for diamonds, gold and platinum group metals and the chain of custody certification for gold and platinum group metals.

"Our Ministry of Economic Development has a strong commitment to cooperate with all organizations --such as the prestigious RJC and Federorafi-- in order to disseminate OECD guidelines on responsible business conduct in the Italian jewelry supply chain," said Dr. Tripoli, the head of the department for enterprise and internationalization.

"I hope that this memorandum will strengthen a shared culture of corporate social responsibility, contributing to awareness raising on ethical jewelry,” said Tripoli.

Licia Mattioli, the president of Confindustria Federorafi, said, “This cooperation with the Ministry of Economic Development and RJC represents a pivotal step for the Italian jewelry industry. The Italian jewelry sector is still a leading player worldwide but now experiencing a difficult financial time in exports. Italian savoir-faire, creativity and jewelry expertise no longer suffice, we now need to commit to responsible business practices and grant the source, the quality and integrity of our jewelry products, offering a more competitive tool to our industry. I am confident that a strong liaison with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and the international RJC will lead to a very positive synergy and outcome.”

Michael Rae, RJC’s chief executive, added, ''RJC welcomes this new formal relationship among our institutions with great enthusiasm. Working together with the Italian Ministry of Economic Development and our Trade Association Member Confindustria Federorafi towards common goals will strengthen our collective efforts towards consumer confidence and responsible business practices throughout the jewelry supply chain in Italy. RJC has been active in the development of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for the gold sector, and Italy plays such a critical role in the gold jewelry supply chain. We are looking forward to the benefits this collaboration will bring to Italian jewelry companies.”

About the Italian Ministry of Economic Development
The Ministry of Economic Development is responsible for a wide variety of policies, such as economic development and cohesion, energy and mineral resources, telecommunications, internationalisation and business incentives. In addition, the Ministry manages the National Contact Point for the promotion of OECD-OCSE guidelines on corporate social responsibility (CSR). More information on http://www.sviluppoeconomico.gov.it/

About Confindustria Federorafi
Over 500 Italian industrial and craft-type companies of the gold jewellery – silverware – jewellery sector are represented in Italy by Confindustria FEDERORAFI - National Federation of Gold Jewellery – Silverware – Jewellery Manufacturers. The companies operate above all in the main manufacturing districts of Arezzo, Vicenza, Macerata, Milan, Valenza and Naples. These companies transform into jewellery and silverware more than 70% of the gold, silver, platinum and palladium processed in Italy, which is then exported all over the world. In fact, two-thirds of Italian gold jewellery production is destined for exports. FEDERORAFI is the most qualified interlocutor of Italian gold jewellery, jewellery and silverware manufacturers, as it not only competently and efficiently safeguards their rights and interests, but it also liaises with the vast network of companies on issues of a general, national and transnational nature. More information on www.federorafi.it

About RJC
The Responsible Jewellery Council is an international not-for-profit organisation bringing together more than 370 member companies committed to promoting responsible ethical, human rights, social and environmental practices in a transparent and accountable manner throughout the jewellery industry from mine to retail. Their commitment aims to reinforce consumer and stakeholder confidence in diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewellery products. The Council has developed the RJC Member Certification system which applies to all Members’ businesses that contribute to the diamond, gold and platinum group metals jewelry supply chain.

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