“Trust, but verify” is a rhyming Russian proverb (Доверя́й, но проверя́й) that entered the English lexicon in the 1980s, when it was popularised by American President Ronald Reagan in respect to nuclear disarmament. It is now becoming a fact of life for all players in the jewellery industry, where doing due diligence to ensure responsible sourcing practices, verifiable supply chain integrity and social and environmental sustainability is becoming a requirement of doing business.
But the cost of conducting due diligence and becoming involved in projects that promote the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals can be restrictive, especially for smaller and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). It is thus a cause of considerable anxiety in the jewellery sector, where most companies are of limited dimensions. This is especially so in Italy, where all but a handful of firms are SMEs, and most are family owned.
Members of the “Does Size Matter?” panel during the seminar at the VICENZAORO show in Vicenza, Italy, on January 17, 2020. They are (from left): Giorgio Bodei, Director of Pomellato; Iris Van der Veken, Executive Director of the Responsible Jewellery Council (RJC); Philip Olden, President of CIBJO’s Responsible Sourcing Commission, the seminar moderator; Moya McKeown, a Sustainability Advisor at Carbon Expert; and Vincenzo Liverino, President of CIBJO’s Coral Commission.