CIBJO Chairman Delivers Keynote Speech on Traceability Standards at the Jewelery Summit During the China International Import Expo
(The article and cover pictures are from: CIBJO)
Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO, delivered the keynote speech at the International Jewelry Standardization Summit held at the same time of the 2nd China International Import Expo in Shanghai on November 8, 2019. In his speech, he highlighted the importance of origin traceability standards for the future of the jewelry industry, with a particular focus on its importance to the business growth in China.
The summit was organized by the China Gems & Jade Exchange, which recently joined CIBJO as a country member of this association. This is one of a series of meetings held during the China International Import Expo, demonstrating that the Chinese government is working to promote the opening of China's huge market to international trade.
President of CIBJO said that achieving full traceability in the jewelry industry is very difficult and is usually limited to a few companies that control the entire production process from mining to retail. There are also an increasing number of technical solutions, many of which use blockchain, and whenever a gem, jewelry component or all items of jewelry change hands, a transfer of ownership or custody shall be recorded.
"These are all exciting developments," Dr. Cavalieri said, "but at the moment they are only effective when a few materials flow through the distribution chain." "So if we want to discuss a system that contains most of the material we process, we have to look for administrative solutions, which means we should create a world of paper handwriting, or a world more suitable for real-time digital handwriting. "
"Essentially, we are talking about due diligence. In other words, a series of actions have been taken that essentially verify that all the parties serving you have also done proper due diligence, "he continued.
He described many of the existing due diligence systems used in the industry, including the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme, the National Anti-Money Laundering (AML) System, the Dodd-Frank Act, and the EU's Conflict Minerals Regulations, etc. Furthermore, Dr. Cavalieri introduced CIBJO's new standards and guidelines in Blue Book on Responsible Procurement, and he approved the standard earlier this year, along with other industry-mandated systems, some of which require third-party review.
"Like other CIBJO blue books, the standards and guidelines contained in the proposed CIBJO Responsible Procurement document are recommendations, not membership requirements," he said. "However, they should be the benchmark for responsible procurement systems developed and applied by global industry organizations and commercial institutions and governments."
He emphasized, "The operating principles of the Responsible Procurement documents are inclusive, which means that the standards, guidelines and systems described in the document are expected to be reasonably adopted by all industry members, regardless of their scales or financial capabilities."
He asked, "Does this trace every ingredient in jewelry back to a specific part of the world where it came from?"
"No, that is not the case, and given the structural complexity of an industry like ours, it is not possible to build any such system that covers most, if not all, of jewelry in the value chain," he said. "But what it does is help create a system in which each participant becomes a link in the chain of trust. We will deliver the commitment of integrity that consumers need together. If this is to work, it must work on one condition, and that is that we are all working. For that, we need general standards that apply to China, Italy or any other part of the world."