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ICA Congress:- Strengthening Consumer Confidence
The ICA Congress in Brazil focused on an issue of growing importance – how to implement fair trade practices that will help strengthen consumer confidence in the end product, despite the unorganized nature of gemstone mining. Diamond World reports.
By: Diamond World News Service
Jul 18 2011 5:41PM
Reference: 6172  

Delegates at the Congress
Delegates at the Congress
The country produces almost 100 different types of gems, houses a growing coloured stone-studded jewellery industry and is one of the four most powerful and potential emerging economies, making it the perfect setting for the 14th Congress of the International Colored Gemstone Association, hosted by IBGM, the Brazilian Gems & Jewelry Trade Association, held in early May.

The Congress began with an extravagant launch event – a traditional steakhouse dinner at Porcão Rio’s on Flamengo Beach – that showcased some exotic Brazilian cuisine, music and dancing. It was sponsored by Monte Carlo Joias, a leading retail jeweller with 30 locations in Brazil, 15 of which opened in the past two years. Known for its use of Brazilian gems in designs that are both timeless and daring, of exceptional quality and affordable prices, the jeweller is a prime example of the burgeoning local industry as well as the domestic market.

The sessions on the first day were devoted to exploring Brazil, a country that is predicted by Goldman Sachs to be among the four most dominant global economies by 2050. Presentations focused on the strength of the economy, the growing domestic market, gemstone mining, innovative cutting techniques and the unique ways Brazilian jewellery manufacturers are using their native stones in design.

Over the subsequent sessions, an impressive lineup of speakers shared insights and success stories that highlighted how the coloured stone industry can advance fair trade concepts for the benefit of everyone along the supply chain. Presenting an overview of the issue, Jean Claude Michelou, ICA vice president, noted that the coloured stone industry has also faced issues similar to the ‘conflict diamonds’ problems faced by the diamond industry, citing the examples of tanzanite and Burmese rubies. However, it has faced problems in responding in a similar manner due to the fact that there is no centralised marketing and market price control; a variety of gems come from hundreds of countries with myriad cultures and standards; and 80 per cent of production is erratic at best, lacking investment capacity, and performed by artisanal miners in thirdworld countries.

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