Cred Jewellery founder Greg Valerio handed MBE for promoting fairtrade gold

Greg Valerio, the founder of Cred Jewellery in Chichester, has been awarded an MBE in the Queen's New Year Honours list 2016.

Greg Valerio has been hailed as a pioneer in promoting fairtrade gold
Greg Valerio has been hailed as a pioneer in promoting fairtrade gold

Mr Valerio has been given the prestigious award for his work to launch and promote fairtrade gold and for his work with gold mining communities in South America and Africa.

Mr Valerio founded Cred Jewellery in 1996 to pioneer fair trade and ethical practices in the jewellery industry.

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In 2003, Cred established the first transparent supply chain of gold and platinum from Oro Verde in Colombia, and was the first jewellery company to pay social premiums for ecological gold.

Mr Valerio said: “Being awarded an MBE for fairtrade gold is truly amazing.

“I hope it is something that moves the idea of fairtrade in jewellery from being seen as a niche market and only for the small jewellers, and places it front and central for the entire UK profession to take seriously.

Using fairtrade gold is very easy and very affordable. As jewellers we can no longer afford to avoid the reality that there is an ethical choice that gets rid of mercury, child labour, human rights abuses and means that small-scale gold mining communities get a fair deal.

“This award is for everyone who has made this possible. Thank you.”

Cred Jewellery was sold to Alan Frampton in 2010, allowing Greg Valerio to focus on campaigning for justice and transparency within the jewellery industry.

Mr Frampton, managing director of Cred Jewellery, added: “A very warm congratulations to Greg for becoming a MBE.

“This is well deserved for his work in identifying the lack of transparency in the jewellery world.

“Anyone who has listened to Greg talk - whether in London or in the jungles of Sierra Leone, will know how much work this man has done and how passionately he stands up for the rights of small scale miners around the world.

“He is a world leader in small scale mining and this recognition demonstrates how important this is for the future success of the UK jewellery industry.”

Cred Jewellery is the sole importer of fairtrade gold to the UK.

Alan Frampton reports that in 2015, sales of fairtrade gold grew by 332 per cent.

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