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CIBJO’s CR Seminar reveals new insights
The intent is to survive the slowdown with a new approach to business
By: Diamond World News Service
Feb 26 2009 8:17PM
Reference: 3571  


CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation took the opportunity to present the participants of the Inhorgenta show in Munich, Germany with a seminar on Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) on February 20, 2009. In his keynote speech, François Loriot, vice president of AIFOMD, said; "The main purpose of the presentation was to demonstrate to jewelers that when taking a business-oriented approach, CSR really can be an excellent competitive tool. We believe that by introducing CSR into a jewellers' business model, they will gain another tool that will create added value to their business. By incorporating CSR, one adds value to the jewellery industry at large." AIFOMD is a Switzerland-based organisation specialising in the development of programmes to advance the United Nation's Millennium Development Goals.

Dr. Loriot added that during the current slowdown in the market, CSR offers a unique opportunity for the jewellery industry. "Recently published research has proven that consumers are ready to pay more for example for fair trade products. By taking stock of the lessons learned, for instance, from the way the conflict diamonds crisis was dealt with, it is easy to understand why it is important to incorporate humanitarian issues into business models. Combine that with original design, craftsmanship and professionalism, and I can see the jewellery industry capture new opportunities and grow its share in the consumer market."

Supporting the effort, CIBJO President Gaetano Cavalieri noted that "For the jewellery industry, this is a relatively new understanding of CSR. Ten years ago we were concentrating less on doing the right thing, and more on not doing the wrong thing. Remember that we deal in non-essential, luxury products and to be successful our customers must be absolutely confident in the integrity of our gems and jewellery, as well in as our business community. This requires total transparency on our part. By integrating CSR in our business models, we will potentially grow our market share, not lose it."

Dr. Hanifa Mezoui, chief of the NGO Section of the United Nation's Economic and Social Council (ECOSOC), praised CIBJO, not only for its role as the jewellery industry's only representative on ECOSOC, but also for taking CSR education to the industry, through the establishment of the World Jewellery Confederation Education Fund (WJCEF), a body that will coordinate CSR education in the international jewellery industry at large.

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