Ronnie VanderLinden

IDMA President

To be equally fair for all

March 25, 2021 – Earlier this week, the World Diamond Council sent out its latest newsletter. It includes several items that deserve your time and attention

Talking about the changes our industry is going through, she writes: “Governments, communities, employees, and many other stakeholders rely on the strength of the positive impact that diamonds deliver, so I’m excited to help lead the WDC’s continued drive for progress and look forward to working in a proactive, cooperative and transparent manner. We may not always agree, and we may sometimes be too passionate, but I trust that we all have our hearts in the right place. Collectively, government, industry, and civil society must push further forward on our shared focus to uphold the integrity of diamonds and protect those who rely on them in a responsible way.”

Another important article is entitled: “Eight words and a set of foundational conventions that expand the WDC System of Warranties’ scope.”  I urge you to read it carefully, and if you have not yet done so, fully implement the World Diamond Council’s new System of Warranties (SoW) in your diamond manufacturing and trading businesses. The SoW Guidelines document, which is now an integral component of the SoW commitment, states that buyers and sellers of diamonds must observe the Kimberley Process Certification System’s implementation, as expressed in the KPCS Core Document, KP Administrative Decisions, and KP Guiding Documents. It also states that buyers and sellers of diamonds understand and voluntarily implement a set of universally accepted principles on human and labor rights, AML, and anti-corruption measures.

Speaking to colleagues and peers, I often hear complaints, especially from those operating smaller companies, about the scrutiny the diamond trade is under and how “overregulation is hurting their business.” Of course, I can understand the sentiment, as smaller companies find it difficult to go through the rigorous demands for compliance, audits, and third-party reviews. These can be cumbersome, time-consuming, and often mind-boggling. On the other hand, the simple truth is that for diamonds to remain relevant in the luxury product industry, we – diamond manufacturers and traders – have no choice but to become fully transparent and accountable in our business dealings and processes. Fortunately, the WDC’s SoW works equally well for small and large companies. That’s why we have put the SoW in place: to be equally fair for all.

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