Markets working to support sustainable development

Alliance for Responsible Mining & Fairmined Standard

Alliance for Responsible Mining

The Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) works in partnership with mining and producer support organisations. It has three areas of work, all dedicated towards improving the environmental, social and economic sustainability of the artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) sector:

  • Standard setting
  • Producer support
  • Communications and advocacy

The Alliance serves to support ASM communities in capacity building to allow them to partake in certified markets, as well as arguing for and shaping certification schemes to reflect the needs of such communities.

Its communications and advocacy work centres on promoting certified products, campaigning against injustices throughout the supply chain and working to inform jewellery businesses and consumers about Fairtrade & Fairmined products from ASM communities.

Fairmined Standard

ARM developed the Standard Zero for ASM communities based on the FLO Fairtrade standard. Standard Zero was developed and tested over a period of 3 years and 9 pilot sites. This has been built upon to create the Fairtrade & Fairmined Standard, for gold and associated precious metals. In 2009 ARM and FLO came together to draft the Fairtrade & Fairmined standard and was approved in December 2009.The standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals to support sustainable development of artisanal and small-scale mining (ASM) communities. The standard includes four types of requirements to perform responsible mining:

  • social development
  • economic development
  • environmental protection
  • labor conditions, including child labour
  • responsible use of chemicals


Background information: 
  • The ARM was established in 2004 in Quito, Ecuador, at the headquarters of Rainforest Rescue International (FURARE). It is now based in Medellín, Colombia.
  • In late 2013, the Fairmined Standad came to the end of the consultation phase and was published in December 2013. It was then validated in January 2014.
Funding source: 

ARM recives funding from various donors and partners, including:

  • private donors
  • Fundacion Ayuda
  • Chopard, a Swiss luxury watch and jewellery brand
  • The Inter-American Development Bank
  • United Nations Industrial Development Organisation
  • US Department of Labor 
  • Fondo Accion
  • Solidaridad
Notable information: 

The ARM claims to have drawn inspiration from the Green Gold initiative in Colombia where ‘ecological restoration is a key component of certification’.