RAPAPORT… Fair-trade activist and jeweler Greg Valerio was
included in the Queen’s New Year Honours List for 2016, which recognizes achievements
and service of “extraordinary” people across the U.K..
Valerio was made a Member of the Most Excellent Order
of the British Empire (MBE) for services to the UK and fair-trade gold sectors
in Colombia and East Africa, according to a list of recipients published on a
U.K. government website December 30.
The maverick and social entrepreneur owns VALERIO
Jewellery, an online ethical and fair-trade fine jewelry brand. In 1996 he
founded CRED Jewellery, which was the U.K. and Europe’s first jewelry company
to retail fair-trade green gold and platinum jewelry collections, according to
a biography on his blog. In 2004 he introduced fully-certified green gold
wedding rings to the U.K. in partnership with Oro Verde.
“The great challenge we now face is to forge a new luxury
jewelry narrative that connects the aspirational emotion of the purchase with
the dignity of the source,” Valerio wrote on his blog December 31. “This
is true luxury jewelry, a legacy of peace, justice and prosperity for the
communities at the source and a continued celebration of design, creativity and
love in the gift that is given.