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News ARM 2008-03

ARM announces that it will include small entrepreneurs with workers in the testing of Standard Zero.

In early 2007, when the criteria for selection of pilot sites for testing Standard Zero was being discussed by the Technical committee, it was decided to test standard zero only with what we called community miners.

“A community mining organization is comprised of a majority of members or shareholders who are active miners, and as members of the local community contribute to its social and economic development.”

This decision was taken with the criteria of trying to reduce the level of complexity that we would face in most requirements of Standard Zero on the ground. Under that logic it was decided that we would take out the section on small producers with contracted labour, until we had covered more ground in terms of learning. ARM however stated that these criteria would be expanded later.

Over the past year we have received numerous requests from small entrepreneurs with workers, who have strongly requested ARM to include them in the testing phase. Apart from Mr. Carneiro in Brazil, this is the situation of the Grupo Minero Machala in Ecuador (working in the Bella Rica concession). Additionally, in our recent scoping studies in Mozambique, Tanzania and Uganda, it seems like the small entrepreneur model is one of the scenarios where important leadership for this process can be found at the local level.

One of the challenges of this model is to define how the Fairtrade premium benefits are distributed, in particular where we have migrant workers from other countries or communities. Conversations with the Fairtrade Foundation of the UK indicate that this situation also exists in fair trade bananas, for example, and that Fairtrade is continually reviewing application of its standards to find pragmatic solutions to best address this situation and to improve the lot of migrant workers, who are an important part of ASM.

Therefore, the technical committee has decided to reconsider its earlier decision and the section on standards for small producers with contracted workers has been reincorporated into Standard Zero and will be tested in Ecuador during 2008.

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Página última modificacion en 04-Mar-2008 19:40 por hruschka.

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