Miners in Ilakaka, Madagascar

summit on sustainability and responsible sourcing for the international jewelry industry will take place in New York City from March 10-13, 2016. The proposed venue for the event is being provided by the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT). Attendees to the Jewelry Industry Summit will come from all areas of the international gem and jewelry trade, and supporting industries. Outreach has already begun to miners, cutters, manufacturers , wholesalers and retailers, as well as non-profit organizations and representatives from government agencies.

The overall goal of the summit is to provide a platform for open discussion across industry sectors, old and new, regarding challenges and opportunities in the gem and jewelry industry.

This open discussion and exchange of information will hopefully lead to increased best practice standards and will enable the development of tools to assist industry members in achieving those higher standards. The summit will address current challenges in all sectors of the industry, provide information on the supply chain integrity systems that are currently in place, discuss expectations of government regulators, shed light on banks that finance the industry, and discuss consumer participation and attitude towards responsible business practices.

The goal of the summit is to provide an open discussion regarding challenges and opportunities in the jewelry industry and to foster better support for all sectors of the supply chain. Voluntary actions to achieve best practices will be addressed. After the summit, tools can be developed to assist industry members to set goals and achieve improvement in meeting the goals developed by consensus.

A positive result of the widely attended and public forum will be to demonstrate to governments, civil society, to the banking community and to consumers that the industry is pro-actively engaging in creatinga positive environment to benefit everyone in the supply chain and is doing so in a manner that allows access for all companies to voluntarily engage at all levels.

Additionally, the high attendance this summit hopes to achieve will demonstrate to governments, civil society, the banking community, and consumers that the jewelry industry as a whole is actively working to wards sustainability and ethical trade, thereby benefitting people working at all levels of the supply chain.

The Planning Committee invites those interested to submit questions and comments to be incorporated into the planning process, and hopes that you’ll spread the word about this event to increase participation–the bigger the event, the more inclusive the discussion will be.

Questions and comments can be submitted to Barbara Wheat who is serving as the project manager at: barbarawheat@gmail.com.

JA New York, the premier trade show for high-end jewelry, is providing registration services at no cost for this event, and will grant summit attendees admission to the trade show, which will follow directly after from March 13-16.

The publisher of The New Jeweller and TNJ Colors has already pledged support as media partners for the summit.

Registration will soon be open at http://www.jewelryindustrysum mit.com/.

The Summit Planning Committee is representative of the wide range of expected participants, and includes:

Ann Arnold of BIG – Buyers Intelligence Group, Lita Asscher of Royal Asscher, Anna Bario of Bario Neal, Robert Bentley of Robert Bentley Company, Mihir Bhansali of Firestar Diamond Inc., Edward Boehm of Rare Source, Eric Braunwart of Columbia Gemhouse, David Bouffard of Signet Jewelers Ltd., Lisa Bridge of Ben Bridge Jeweler, Bruce Bridges of Bridges Tsavorite, Brandee Dallow of Rio Tinto Diamonds, Bill Farmer of Farmer’s Jewelry, Jeffrey Fischer o f Fischer Diamonds Inc., Rebecca Foerster of Leo Schachter Diamonds, Karen Goracke of Borsheim’s, Stewart Grice of Hoover and Strong, Mark Hanna of Richline, Hayley Henning of True North Gems and Steve Hodgkins of Rolex USA.