RAPAPORT… Jewelers of America updated its Conflict Diamonds Self-Assessment Tools — a series of four single-page documents, which provide simple guidance on steps retailers should take to fulfill their responsibilities to the World Diamond Council System of Warranties (SOW.)
The SOW supports the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme in ensuring that conflict diamonds do not reach the consumer market. The documents are available to Jewelers of America (JA) members at the organization’s website, www.jewelers.org.
New Media Sheet
The organization developed and added a media fact sheet for its members –should a member be contacted by the media– on the conflict diamond issue.
The guide helps JA members to form responses with facts and figures, discuss the importance of ethics in the trade, and provide possible answers for questions suggesting the use of diamonds from Canada rather than diamonds from Africa. JA believes “one conflict diamond is one too many,” and the organization welcomes films that shed light on a dark period in Africa’s history.
“It’s a story that needs to be told — if we are to prevent such tragedies from ever happening again,” reads one of the sentences on the fact sheet.
“JA has been at the forefront in educating our members about how to meaningfully support all efforts to rid the world of conflict diamonds,” said JA president and CEO Matthew A. Runci.
“When the SOW went into effect in 2003, JA began a regular series of reminders to members about their responsibilities to require suppliers to provide them with the official SOW statement on all diamond and diamond jewelry invoices. Our 2006 update reinforces the message once more.”
“When every retailer in America is requiring the appropriate warranty of every supplier, then we can truly call our industry’s participation a success story,” said Runci.
Business Practice Updates
The four key documents JA members (only) may access under the Responsible Business Practices archive include:
Summary for Members.
Updates members on the key points of KP and SOW, with particular emphasis on retailers’ responsibilities to the system.
Helps retailers quickly assess their adherence to the World Diamond Council’s (WDC) SOW and functions to highlight areas where improvement is needed.
Sample Letter to Suppliers.
Gives members the language with which to communicate to suppliers about their obligation to provide retailers with the official SOW statement.
Sample Statement to Consumers.
Gives members sample language for a Conflict Diamonds Policy Statement to share with consumers who wish to know more about the industry’s voluntary warranty system supporting the Kimberley Process. Includes the official SOW statement.
“JA members asked us to update the Self-Assessment Tools as a complement to the World Diamond Council’s Confidence Pack,” said Peggy Jo Donahue, JA director of public affairs. JA is one of seven associations that advised the World Diamond Council on the creation of the Confidence Pack.
JA also offered advice in the development of WDC’s website, diamondfacts.org.
“Diamondfacts.org contains valuable information concerning the good that diamonds do for development around the world and especially in Africa. It also details efforts to work on remaining problems in the diamond supply chain, and I urge all retailers to visit it this fall – and recommend it to interested customers.
“It’s a vital resource,” Donahue said.