Retailers who have signed up to Hockley Mint’s Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme are reporting a significant increase in consumer interest in Fairtrade gold, which is in turn driving sales in store.

British jewellery manufacturer Hockley Mint launched its Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme in June 2016 as a new initiative to encourage participating retailers to stock, promote and sell Fairtrade gold jewellery. As the first of its kind in the UK, it provides retail stores with point-of-sale display and marketing materials to promote Fairtrade gold products, which sales staff can use to explain to customers the benefits of buying Fairtrade gold.

The Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme now has 26 leading independent retailers on board, including Wongs Jewellers in Liverpool, Drakes Jewellers in Plymouth and Baroque Jewellery in Brighton.

Speaking of the scheme, Gary Thompson, owner of Form Bespoke Jewellers in Leeds, says: “With consumers showing a growing interest for ethical product across the board, we saw this scheme as a great opportunity for our business. Since we have received all of the marketing material and started to promote Fairtrade gold in store as well as on our website, we can visually see interest getting bigger and bigger as people become more aware of it.”

Joy Everley Fine Jewellery in London’s Soho is also part of the scheme. Marketing manager Siaan Spapens says: “Lots of customers come in and don’t even realise Fairtrade is an option. It’s wonderful to be able to educate them on the benefits of buying Fairtrade gold and once they know about it – because the price is roughly the same – most customers don’t have to think twice about buying it.

“We decided to join the Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme because it was niche, but also because we see that this is the direction the industry is going in and we wanted to be a part of it. We are a small independent jewellery retailer and if we can stock it and see it do well hopefully we can be part of a bigger change in the industry.”

Hockley Mint managing director Gary Wroe, who led the creation of the scheme, states: “After a life-changing trip to Tanzanian gold mines in August 2015 and gaining an in-depth understanding of the benefits that Fairtrade can bring to local mining communities, we set about developing our Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme. Many retailers want to be able to offer a Fairtrade gold option because they recognise that consumers are becoming more interested in the provenance of jewellery, and this scheme offers a solution on how to market the collection by providing retailers with an elegant POS unit, flexible buy-in and marketing support. The feedback from current retailers in the Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme has been overwhelmingly positive.”

The Fairtrade Ambassadors Scheme is an on-going project, and Hockley Mint is welcoming enquiries from retailers across the UK who are interested in getting on board. Hockley Mint will also be promoting the scheme to retailers visiting the International Jewellery London (IJL) show in September.

Hockley Mint Fairtrade Ambassadors
Hockley Mint Fairtrade Ambassadors

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