Vice President Eli Avidar to leave position at CIBJO, to run for political office in Israeli parliamentary election in April

ABOVE: Outgoing CIBJO Vice President Eli Avidar (left), with CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.

 

February 7, 2019

Eli Avidar, CIBJO Vice President, has resigned his position at the World Jewellery Confederation, announcing that he plans to run for national political office during the upcoming parliamentary elections for the Israeli Knesset, which will take place on April 9.

“Five years ago I had the honour and the privilege to be invited to join the CIBJO Board of Directors by the President, Dr. Gaetano Cavalieri, and given the opportunity to serve as Vice President. In 2007 I left the Israeli Foreign Ministry, where I had served as a career diplomat, to join the diamond industry. Now 12 years later, I feel compelled to go back and serve my people, as an elected member of the Israeli Knesset.”

“I greatly value my time in the industry, and in particular the period I served as a CIBJO officer,” Mr. Avidar continued. “In particular I feel indebted to Gaetano, who taught me a great deal about the meaning of leadership. I am privileged consider him a dear friend.”

“It is with regret that we we accept Eli’s resignation, but we applaud his reasons for doing so,” said Dr. Cavalieri. “There is no higher calling than public office, and from our experience Eli has the commitment, knowledge, skills, talent and motivation to be a tremendous parliamentarian. Our loss will be his country’s gain. We wish him the very best of luck.”

In addition to his position at CIBJO, until 2018 Mr. Avidar and served as Executive Director of the Israel Diamond Exchange and Managing Director of the Israel Diamond Institute.

Vice President Eli Avidar to leave position at CIBJO, to run for political office in Israeli parliamentary election in April2019-02-07T15:31:29+00:00

CIBJO seminar in Vicenza focuses on responsible sourcing, presents the precious coral sector as a case study for sustainability

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri introducing the panel at the opening of the CIBJO seminar in Vicenza, Italy, on January 19.

January 22, 2019

CIBJO’s new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book highlighted a well-attended seminar at the VICENZAORO January jewellery trade show in Vicenza, Italy, on January 19, which also featured the precious coral sector as a case study for sustainability.

The seminar comprised the opening session of the 21st Symposium of the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG), which was hosted by the Italian Gemmological Institute. FEEG President Guy Lalous welcomed the delegates, as did Marco Carniello, Director of the Jewellery & Fashion Division of the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), the organizer of the VICENZAORO shows.

In his introduction, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri, who moderated the opening seminar, said that that consumer confidence, without which “the entire premise on which our business is built would be meaningless,” requires more than just the integrity of the product to be maintained.

“Today, and for about 20 years already, it has become increasingly apparent that the ways in which we, the members of the jewellery industry, behave and impact society and the environment are also fundamental components of consumer confidence. We do not operate in a moral vacuum, where the value of the products we handle are no way connected to the businesses we run. That may have been the case in the distant past, but it is no longer true – certainly not in the age of the Internet and the social media, where a photograph, video or tweet can go viral in a matter of hours,” he stated.

The seminar panel (from left): Philip Olden, President of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission; Francesca Marino, CIBJO’s Senior CSR Advisor; Professor Roberto Vona, Dean of the Business Management Department at the University of Naples Federico II; Guy Lelous, President of FEEG; Vincenzo Liverino; President of the CIBJO Coral Commission; Rui Galopim de Carvalho, Vice President of the CIBJO Coral Commission.

Philip Olden, the President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, provided an overview of the new Responsible Sourcing Blue Book, which was approved by the CIBJO Board of Directors earlier this month. It can be downloaded free of charge from the CIBJO website, by CLICKING HERE.

Emphasising that the Responsible Sourcing Blue Book does not purport to be a code of practice for which compliance  can be certified, and neither a chain of custody, he said that it is meant to serve as guidance and provide a framework within which all members of the industry can perform responsible-sourcing due diligence, irrespective of their size and type of business. “We believe in the principle of continuous improvement,” he said. “Responsible sourcing is a process that can begin by taking just a few basic steps.”

Francesca Marino, CIBJO’s senior advisor on CSR, looked at how the implementation of social responsibility practices could change through the introduction of Blockchain technology. “Compared to previously used systems, Blockchain makes the process of ethically evaluating the behavior of a company more objective, eliminating the arbitrariness that other methods sometimes involve,” she stated.

Members of the audience during the CIBJO Seminar, which opened the 21st Symposium of the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG) at the VICENZAORO January jewellery trade show.

The second part of the CIBJO seminar shone the spotlight on precious coral, which has been the subject of media attention in recent years, largely as a result of concern about the effects of global warming on ocean life.

Providing a gemmological and historical overview of precious coral, Rui Galopim de Carvalho, Vice President of CIBJO’s Coral Commission, explained that it is critical that the eight species of coral that are considered precious be differentiated from the thousands of other common coral species. The precious coral species are located below the surface of the sea at depths of 50 metres and more, where ocean warming and acidification are not considered to be significant factors, he explained. In contrast, many of the common corals, including all reef corals, can be found in shallow waters, where rising temperatures and bleaching  are sometimes having devastating effects, he said.

Research being conducted at scientific institutes around the world, with the support of the CIBJO Coral Commission, is eliciting promising results that could lead to the regrowth and repopulation of common corals affected by global warming, explained Vincenzo Liverino, President of the CIBJO Coral Commisison. Described by Dr. Cavalieri as the individual who almost singlehandedly has restored the position and reputation of precious coral in the marketplace, over the past three years Mr. Liverino has used the high profile of precious coral to raise awareness about the general health of the oceans, encouraging action to be taken to protect the sustainability of this essential source of life and sustenance for the planet.

Coral education is a critical part of the process, Mr. Liverino stressed. The CIBJO Coral Commisison will soon launch an online course about precious coral and common coral, and it also is providing assistance to gemmology educational institutes to introduce coral units into their regular programmes.

Closing out out the seminar was Professor Roberto Vona, Dean of the Business Management Department at the University of Naples Federico II. Having long studied the area where business management and entrepreneurship intersects with technology and ethics, he considered how Blockchain technology could be applied to managing the coral supply chain, and so provide opportunities to improve the quality and sustainability of the product.

“You work in a field where transactions are concluded on an assumption of trust,” he said. “But there are instances where trust is betrayed.” Blockchain could provide an objective and unalterable records of what is known about the product as it moves along the chain of distribution,  providing evidence that sustainable practices have been complied with throughout the harvesting, processing and sales process, he explained.

CIBJO seminar in Vicenza focuses on responsible sourcing, presents the precious coral sector as a case study for sustainability2019-01-22T11:22:45+00:00

CIBJO and Federation for European Education in Gemmology to focus on responsible sourcing and gemmology at conference in Vicenza

January 16, 2019

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, and the Federation for European Education (FEEG) in Gemmology, will be presenting a day-long conference at the VICENZAORO January jewellery trade show, organised by the Italian Exhibition Group (IEG), in Vicenza on Saturday, January 19, where the principle focus will be on issues related to responsible sourcing and gemmology.

For CIBJO, the event is the latest in a series of seminars and workshops presented at VICENZAORO shows, in cooperation with IEG, focusing on issues relating to responsible business practices and sustainability in the jewellery sector. For FEEG, which was established in 1995 to create a pan-European gemmology qualification that is recognised by all bodies and institutions across the EU, the conference serves as its 21st Symposium, bringing together leading gemmological experts from across the continent and around the world. It is being hosted in Vicenza by the Italian Gemmological Institute (IGI).

Beginning at 10:00 AM in Hall 7.1 -TIZIANO Room of the Vicenza Expo Centre, the morning session of the conference will focus first on responsible sourcing practices, and feature a presentation of CIBJO’s newly approved Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewellery sector. Also in the spotlight during the morning session will be precious coral, both from the gemmological perspective and from the perspective of sustainability, as will be Blockchain technology, which will be looked at generally and more specifically from the standpoint of the precious coral sector. The morning session will be moderated by Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO.

The Afternoon Session of the conference will begin at 2:00 PM in the same venue, and look at a variety of topics, including marketing and strategies in the coloured gemstones sector, the legacy and gemmology of natural pearls, new laboratory technologies, the classification and identification of jade, and the gemmology and geology of diamonds. It will be moderated by Paolo Valentini, IGI Vice President.

The proceedings will conclude with the annual FEEG diploma award ceremony, starting at 4:30 PM. The day’s events will be conducted in English and Italian, with simultaneous translation into both languages available at all times. Registration at the conference venue will begin at 9:30 AM.

To download the conference programme, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO and Federation for European Education in Gemmology to focus on responsible sourcing and gemmology at conference in Vicenza2019-01-16T08:45:09+00:00

CIBJO Board of Directors approves newest Blue Book, providing guidance for responsible sourcing in the jewellery sector

January 14, 2019

The Board of Directors of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has approved the first edition of the Responsible Sourcing Book, which provides a framework and guidance for due diligence related to the responsible sourcing of gemstones and precious metals in the jewellery sector. It becomes the latest in CIBJO’s Blue Book series of definitive industry guides for standards and nomenclature, joining the Blue Books for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, precious coral, precious metals and gemmological laboratories.

The new Responsible Sourcing Book is the product of a year-long project, which included the creation of the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Commission and a policy document that was presented at the 2018 CIBJO Congress in Bogotá in November. Before its release, it was subject to a rigorous internal and external review process that included experts both from the jewellery sector and the international community.

Recommending guidelines and procedures by which participants in the jewellery supply chain may undertake supply-chain due diligence to support  responsible sourcing, the Responsible Sourcing Book is designed to serve as guidance for ethical business practices and supply-chain due-diligence systems in the jewellery sector. It is not a definitive code of practice in and of itself and cannot be described or interpreted as a compliance mechanism or chain of custody.

Referencing the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD) Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, the Responsible Sourcing Book insists on compliance with the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme and the World Diamond Council’s System of Warranties for diamonds, and supports the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights. It recommends that all participants in the industry have a responsible sourcing policy in place, and undertake due diligence on their supply chains to the best of their ability, to identify, assess and mitigate any identifiable risks in the jewellery supply chain related to  human rights, labour practices, money laundering,  financing of confict and corruption.

To ensure product integrity, the Blue Book calls for precious metals and gem materials and products to be correctly represented and disclosed through their supply chains in accordance with the CIBJO Retailers’ Reference Guide or the relevant CIBJO Blue Books, and recommends that grading reports and other types of product-verification be provided as well.

“The philosophy that guided us in the creation of the Responsible Sourcing Book is that all participants in the jewellery business have a duty of care, and thus should conduct supply-chain due diligence to the best of their ability,” explained Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO. “And while we support the principle of having responsible practices being verified and certified by standards and certification bodies which are referred to in the CIBJO guidance, we also recognise that, at any particular point in time, not every company has the capacity to do so. The new Blue Book provides a set of universal guidelines that enable all members of the industry to demonstrate that they are actively involved in defending the integrity of the supply chain, and that they strive to improve these efforts on a continuous basis.”

“The Responsible Sourcing Book is intended to provide an essential structure for supply-chain due diligence in the jewellery business, in accordance with accepted practice and standards in the international community,” added  Dr. Cavalieri. “How individual companies choose to apply the standards and guidelines provided is up to them. Like all CIBJO Blue Books, it is a living document, which will be reviewed on a continuing basis, and amended and updated when necessary.”

The new CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Blue Book will be presented to the industry by Responsible Sourcing Commission President Philip Olden at a seminar in Vicenza on Saturday, January 19, starting at 10:00 AM. The seminar, which is being held during the VICENZAORO January trade show, will open the symposium of the Federation for European Education in Gemmology (FEEG), in Hall 7.1–TIZIANO Room of the Vicenza Exposition Centre. It will be moderated by CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri.

 The CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Blue Book can be downloaded free of charge from the CIBJO website at CLICK HERE.

CIBJO Board of Directors approves newest Blue Book, providing guidance for responsible sourcing in the jewellery sector2019-01-14T10:09:54+00:00

CIBJO certified as being carbon neutral for fifth consecutive year

November 6, 2018

CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, has been certified as being carbon neutral in 2017, which is the fifth straight year that offset its greenhouse gas emissions through the purchase of carbon credits. It did so as part of the CIBJO Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative that was launched several years ago to promote environmental consciousness and responsibility in the jewellery and gemstone industries.

“Accelerating climate change through global warming is arguably the greatest challenge of our time,” said Gaetano Cavalieri, President of CIBJO. “It crosses borders and nations, causing havoc and destruction that threaten of all our planet’s children, their children and their children’s children. The vast majority of scientists agree that it largely is a result of the massive quantities of carbon gases that we humans have pumped over many years into the atmosphere, and if the trend is not reversed the consequences will be even more devastating. But no single act will solve the problem. It is up to all of us. The CIBJO Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative was established to provide our sector a way for playing its part.”

To become carbon neutral, CIBJO’s carbon footprint first was measured by Carbon Expert, an environmental consulting organisation. It included all greenhouse gases emitted by CIBJO as a result of regular operations during the course of the year, and the annual congress in Thailand in November 2017. This was offset through the purchase and retirement of 131 Voluntary Carbon Units (VCUs), which were invested in a 300 MW hydroelectric project in India, which is a recognised carbon offsetting project.

Greenhouse gases, which radiate and trap heat in the earth’s atmosphere, are considered a primary cause of climate change by the overwhelming majority of experts in the scientific community. These gases include carbon dioxide, whose entry into the atmosphere is accelerated through the use of  fossil fuels; methane, which is emitted during the production of coal, natural gas and oil, as well as through emissions from livestock and other agricultural practices, and through the decay of organic waste in municipal solid waste landfills; nitrous oxide, which is emitted during agricultural and industrial activities, as well as during combustion of fossil fuels and solid waste; and fluorinated gases, which are sometimes used as substitutes for stratospheric ozone-depleting substances.

The CIBJO Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative was established by the jewellery confederation’s Marketing & Education Commission to help companies within the jewellery and gemstone industries understand their environmental impact, reduce it, and protect themselves and the industry as a whole. Companies that become part of the programme are invited to work with Carbon Expert, which assists them in complying with ISO Standard 14064, specifying how to quantify and report greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals, and apply ISO Standard 20121, which offers guidance and best practice for controlling the environmental impact of events.

To obtain more information about the CIBJO Greenhouse Gas Measurement Initiative, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

CIBJO certified as being carbon neutral for fifth consecutive year2018-11-12T18:23:12+00:00

CIBJO concludes 2018 congress in Bogotá, Colombia, after focusing strongly on responsible sourcing and new technologies

ABOVE: CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri (far right) presenting a gift to Colombian Vice President Marta Lucia Ramirez (second from left). She is flanked by Pramod Kumar Agrawal (far left), Chairman of India’s Gem & Jewellery Export Promotion Council, and Kenneth Scarratt, President of CIBJO’s Pearl Commission.

 

October 18, 2018

The 2018 CIBJO Congress concluded yesterday in Bogotá, Colombia, after three days of official business, which followed two days of steering committee meetings. The final day of the congress was marked by a visit by Colombia’s Vice President, Marta Lucia Ramirez.

Addressing the special session of the congress, which also was attended by about 200 members of the Chamber of Commerce of Bogotá’s Jewellery Cluster, Ms. Ramirez outlined challenges facing Colombia in general and the business community specifically. She pointed to the growing importance and expansion of the Colombian jewellery sector, and paid tribute to representatives of the emerald and jewellery industries, who she said were leading the sector forward.

During the concluding General Assembly session on the final day, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri described the congress as most successful, noting that significant work had been accomplished in driving forward the business and social agendas of the jewellery and gemstone industries, and in particular preparing them for the marketplace of the years ahead.

CIBJO’s senior officers during the General Assembly session on the final day of the 2018 congress (from left): Roland Naftule, Vice President; Marc-Alain Christen, Chief Financial Officer; Gaetano Cavalieri, President; Corrado Facco, Vice President; and Eli Avidar, Vice President.

“As industry leaders, our obligation is to ensure that our sector is able to evolve and adapt in accordance with changing business, technological, social and geopolitical conditions,” said Dr. Cavalieri. “Staying in one place effectively means that you are moving backwards, and that is not acceptable. What we have done in Bogotá over the past few days is to examine what is happening around us, and to discuss and implement strategies that will equip our industry for the future.”

A landmark event took place on the first day of the congress, when CIBJO’s Responsible Souring Guidance was unveiled. It is intended that the document will achieve the status of a CIBJO Blue Book, coming to serve as a reference for responsible sourcing practices developed and applied by industry organisations and commercial bodies worldwide, while taking into account the challenges of the global jewellery supply chains. Like the other Blue Books for diamonds, coloured gemstones, pearls, precious metals, coral and gemmological laboratories, it will be a living document, which can be amended and added to as changing conditions require. For that purpose, a Responsible Sourcing Commission was established, with Philip Olden appointed as its president.

Disruptive technologies were discussed at length during the 2018 CIBJO Congress. Blockchain technology was the focus of a dedicated session, investigating the significance and possible impacts of the new technology in general, and more specifically in terms of its applications in the jewellery and gemstone sectors. These include securely and transparently tracking the movement of merchandise, as it changes hands multiple times during its journey down the chain of distribution, and also the use of digital currencies, which can significantly reduce banking costs and provide financing opportunities for industry members.

Also coming under the spotlight was the use of the social media as a means of marketing products and services in the jewellery industry. In an enlightening presentation during the meeting of CIBJO’s Pearl Commission, Kevin Cannon, head of digital marketing at the Cultured Pearl Association of America, showed how a single paid-for posting on Facebook was seen by 1.7 million people, and generated 50,000 clicks, 3,000 shares and more than 800 comments.

Environmental sustainability, particular in the marine ecosystem, received a great deal of attention. CIBJO’s Coral Commission, headed by Vincenzo Liverino, reported on its work in promoting research into the repopulation of coral reefs, which today are being severely damaged by climate warming and ocean acidification. While precious corals, which are deep-water species, are not under the same degree of threat as the shallow water coral reefs, the commission hopes that the profile of precious coral as a luxury item will raise public awareness about the plight of those species that are in danger of extinction.

Among the other subjects receiving close attention was adoption by the jewellery industry of the OECD Due Diligence Guidance for Responsible Supply Chains of Minerals from Conflict-Affected and High-Risk Areas, which were presented and explained by Tyler Gillard, who heads the Responsible Mineral Supply Chain project at the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and Development in Paris.

Also discussed at length were the recently revised guides of the U.S. Federal Trade Commission for diamonds, precious metals, coloured gemstones and pearls; means of separating professional opinions from measurable facts on gem grading reports; and simplified versions of the CIBJO Blue Books and other guidelines for members of the jewellery retail trade.

The venue of the the next CIBJO Congress was also announced. It will be the Kingdom of Bahrain, and will be hosted by the Bahrain Institute for Pearls &Gemstones DANAT in November 2019.

The 2018 CIBJO Congress was hosted at the Grand Hyatt Bogotá by Fedesmeraldas, the National Federation of Emeralds of Colombia, and CDTEC, Colombia’s leading gemmological institute.

 

To view reports of all the 2018 CIBJO Congress sessions, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

To view all the photo galleries of the 2018 CIBJO Congress, PLEASE CLICK HERE.

 

More information is available on the dedicated CIBJO Congress website at: http://www.cibjo.org/congress2018/

CIBJO concludes 2018 congress in Bogotá, Colombia, after focusing strongly on responsible sourcing and new technologies2018-10-18T20:00:50+00:00