ICA President Message
As a new year begins, the industry is enveloped in the first two months by the many international trade shows around the globe including Tucson, Vincenza, Sri Lanka, Tokyo, Munich, Bangkok and Hong Kong.
These shows can have upwards of 2000 exhibitors, so the scale can be a little daunting for a buyer trying to find a supplier they can trust with the right type of goods.
At many of these trade shows you will find an ICA pavilion with a wide variety of colored gems in a huge array of qualities, colors, sizes and shapes. Even where there is no pavilion you will find ICA Members exhibiting at shows in every corner of the globe.
The ICA brand should be a beacon for buyers navigating the show floors. ICA Members abide by a strict code of ethics ensuring that the business practices are beyond reproach. ICA Members are required to follow the ICA duties of disclosure ensuring that the buyer is fully informed about what they are buying and any treatments the stone may have undertaken.
It is part of ICA's mission to provide greater consumer confidence by lifting the awareness and improving the practices of our membership in the areas of responsible, ethical and sustainable trading.
ICA has worked very closely with The World Jewellery Confederation (CIBJO) and other industry organisations to develop strategies to continuously improve the manner in which gemstones are traded. To this end, we have developed the Accredited Ethical Member (AEM) program.
It is intended that members who undertake this accreditation process will understand more fully their duty of care within the gem and jewellery supply chain and improve the practices within their organisation. It consists of a series of steps containing key ICA and industry objectives outlining the elements of responsible sourcing.
It is designed to be a practical self-assessment and a voluntary pledge on responsible sourcing. It should also be a stimulus for continuous improvement within their company. To hold AEM status the ICA Member must undertake an annual practical self-audit and make a commitment to understand and follow the ICA Code of Ethics, the ICA Duties of Disclosure and the CIBJO Responsible Sourcing Guide.
I would encourage all ICA members to go to our website www.gemstone.org and find out how to gain their AEM accreditation. Attaining the AEM status demonstrates that you are company eager to adopt industry best practices and provide a superior customer experience.
Buying from an ICA Member provides you with the confidence you need which ultimately can be passed downstream all the way to the consumer.
Whether you are buying or selling, I hope it is a very positive experience.