Geneva, Switzerland – Precious metals, diamonds and gold. All are extracted from the ground, bringing with them wealth and prosperity. They can end up in our mobile phones, as part of our jewellery or they can adorn our wristwatches. Agricultural supply chains too are lynchpins in providing food for millions around the world. But, both these supply chains can also have an enormous impact on workers, communities and the natural environment with rights violations, conflict and deforestation among the problems commonly observed.
This week, The Forest Trust (TFT) and Transparence SA announced a new partnership to deepen collaboration in extractives supply chains, ramp up the pace of transformation and ensure they respect the rights of all they impact, including nature and communities.
“After almost 20 years of working with brands and companies to transform supply chains, across a variety of commodities such as timber, palm oil and stone, behind us we’ve gained a lot of experience. By partnering with Transparence we’ll be able to bring on board their skills and knowledge of the extractives industry to really drive through the change we want to see. Our joint goal is responsible and sustainable supply chains and that’s what we’ll be striving to achieve across the extractives sectors,” explained Bastien Sachet, CEO at TFT.
“Transparent and ethical supply chains are possible,” said Veerle van Wauwe, Founding Director at Transparence SA. “Consumers want to know that the goods they are using are made without human rights violations or environmental damage. Both our organisations align on many fronts, so it is natural that we work together to achieve that.”
Supporting communities is key to both organisations, particularly where mining overlaps with the industrial agricultural sector. In many cases local and indigenous people live in close proximity to mining operations and often work with them, This can bring opportunities, but also tensions as conflicts over land rights and environmental destruction can dramatically affect their livelihoods. As part of this partnership, the viability of tools such as Kumacaya, which empowers local communities and civil society organisations to monitor conditions on the ground will be explored as a means to bring about change on the ground.
“Right now we’re looking at launching a pilot programme in an area where the informal mining sector overlaps with industrials agriculture so that, as TFT and Transparence, we can bring our combined skills and experience to bear,” Renzo Verne, Senior Manager at TFT. “We’re excited to be launching this partnership and hope it can bring change for people and nature touched by supply chains across the globe.”
The Forest Trust (TFT) is an international non-profit organisation that transforms global supply chains by partnering with brands, traders and producers to catalyse industry-wide chain reactions and improve the social and environmental aspects of production practices at the field, forest and farm levels.
Transparence promotes and builds impact-focussed, transparent and traceable supply chains of responsibly mined precious minerals from the mine to the market in the luxury jewellery value chain. Its customers are luxury brands, retailers and banks, who wish to source responsible goods.