14May Q&A with Emma Perry of Emerald Studio

Stuart Pool (Nineteen48) was interviewed by Emma Perry of Emerald Studio in May 2024 in advance of the inaugural Get Stoned gem fair.

- How have you helped create a fair supply chain/create equity/show transparency/offer business support?

We have worked on many levels to establish our supportive supply chains. We focus on fair rewards for our colleagues and suppliers, safe working conditions, gender equality, training and development, and full transparency and traceability. 

Although we do not have independent certification or accreditation, we often host visitors to our mines and cutting workshop, so that they can see for themselves how we operate. 

We welcome anyone who is coming to Sri Lanka to get in touch and arrange a visit.

We collaborate with other gem suppliers who share our beliefs, so that we can support each other and offer a wide range of gemstones from reliable and responsible sources.

- How do you support artisanal and small-scale miners and their communities?

We contribute to knowledge sharing through independent training activities and collaborate with other organisations to run educational workshops which empower the miners. For example, giving the less experienced miners the knowledge to calculate the value of their rough material, mine more productively and safely or make better plans for their business.

Furthermore, by practicing fair trading and open negotiation, we maximise the revenue for the miners, which brings more money into their communities.

- How do you source and track your gemstones, so that you can give the assurance that they come from verifiable origins?

We offer gemstones from our own mine in Sri Lanka or from carefully selected and vetted partner mines or traders.

We log information from the point of extraction and/or the point of purchase from a miner.

Our trading partners do the same in their supply chains, so that we can all give a high level of traceability to our customers.

We have made some use of the Provenance Proof blockchain platform to log data and transfer it to our customers at the time of purchase.

- Do you own the mine? Do you know who owns and runs the mines?

Yes, a large proportion of our gemstones come from our own mine in Sri Lanka or from our small, trusted network of other mine owners, either in Sri Lanka or Tanzania. 

We do not buy gems from the general marketplace, neither in the source countries nor in global trading hubs.

- How do you ensure safety for the miners/cutters? Has your business helped with their healthcare in other aspects? What safety measures have you ensured/introduced?

Wherever possible and practical, we have tried to introduce the use of personal protective equipment (PPE) for our miners and cutters. For example, face masks, visors and goggles, hard hats, etc.

Admittedly, this has not always been as successful as we would have liked, but we are also conscious of imposing inappropriate (or even unsafe) conditions on any of our partners or employees. 

- What do you specifically do to protect the environment?

In particular in Sri Lanka, we have a legal (as well as moral) obligation to restore the mine site after the mining operations are completed. The specific restoration depends on the subsequent proposed use of the land. As a minimum, the site must be cleared of debris and mine pits must be refilled. In the past, we have replanted shrubs and small trees.

- What else do you do to help make the world a better place?

We try to do a bit of everything. From being conscious of the waste we produce and recycling whatever we can to looking at our (fairly minimal) carbon footprint and trying to keep it as low as possible.

We are engaged in a range of voluntary activities within the jewellery industry, often related to educational initiatives and/or responsible sourcing or making practices.

We support various charities in Sri Lanka and the UK, as well as giving back to other projects through our gemstone sales.

- Where can potential customers or partners find out more?

I'm always happy to engage in direct conversation, although I think a lot of these topics are covered by the Ethical Policy on my website.


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