The American Gem Trade Association (AGTA) announced that it has amended its Code of Ethics and Principles of Fair Business Practice as it seeks to strengthen global supply chain integrity.
With an eye on consumer confidence, the amendments stress the importance of due diligence, with each AGTA member being responsible expected to make the necessary checks when purchasing, selling, exchanging, representing, marketing, and disclosing gemstones and other jewelry.
Other amendments strongly recommended the submission of “new, unknown or questionable material to the marketplace” to appropriate laboratories for detailed analysis.
The Code of Ethics also acknowledged Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) was critical, urging that members investigate whether gem materials are mined responsibly and in an environmentally sound way, are not the product of child labor, that companies adhere to health and safety standards for miners, cutters and jewelers and that items are not smuggled or associated with illegal activities.
“For 35 years, AGTA’s Code of Ethics has served as a model for the entire industry,” said AGTA CEO Douglas Hucker.
“And as a living document it was necessary and appropriate for us to amend them to strengthen our commitment to due diligence in the marketplace and to reflect our leadership role in the global efforts in supply chain integrity.”
The International Colored Gemstone Association (ICA) requested that they be allowed to adopt the AGTA Code of Ethics as a basis for their own code. The AGTA board of directors ratified the request at the recent Gemstone Industry Laboratory Conference (GILC).