Fairtrade gold items launched

The world’s first Fairtrade and Fairmined gold has been launched in the UK in an effort to tackle poverty and dangerous conditions faced by small-scale miners.

Royal jeweller Garrard is among 20 companies to launch the first of the gold, which has been used in collections and one-off pieces. Each piece will carry a Fairtrade and Fairmined hallmark.

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The Fairtrade Foundation said hundreds of thousands more workers had been lured to the industry by the surging price.

But it remained one of the most dangerous industries, with many of the estimated 15 million people in the artisanal and small-scale sector risking disease, injury and death.

The price of gold has risen from $320 (£200) per ounce in 1999 to more than $1,400 (£875) last year.