Michael Allchin from the Birmingham Assay Office shares his views in the lead up to IJL.
“After a stunning two weeks of brilliant sport, of which my favourite had to be the BMX biking- can’t wait to have a go at that – my Olympic Hangover was sitting heavy last night.
“Where were Gaby and all the fantastic, beaming athletes, screaming crowds and triumphant Union Jacks. What to look forward to next?
“Well there are the paralympics and of course, and as Team BAO reminded me this morning there is also IJL. Almost as good!
“Planning for The Birmingham Assay Office stand is well advanced thanks to Penny Parkes, and Marion Wilson has ensured that an interesting and varied line up of panellists for The Great Debate is all on track. This is a joint initiative with Reed Exhibitions, intended to build awareness and provoke a response to the various ethical social, humanitarian and environmental challenges our industry faces.
“Last year The Great Debate focussed on the work of three international giants – CIBJO, the RJC and Fairtrade Foundation who had each made a significant step forward during 2011.
“In 2012 we have decided to focus on smaller concerns, individual businesses headed up by enthusiastic individuals who are all making a difference in their own individual way.
“Headline speaker and panellist is Steve Bennett of The Genuine Gemstone Company (formerly Gems TV) who is involved in several community based projects, particularly in Africa, in communities which he visits when buying gemstones. He has some brilliant, inspiring bits of film showing his work.
“Vanessa Burkitt is deeply committed to the work of the Catherine Jones Foundation which is currently focussing on education for the orphans of the tsunami. While not directly connected to the jewellery supply chain it is being funded by Catherine Jones Jewellers who have family connections in India and are working from the heart to make a difference.
“Adam Jacobs is co founder with Peter Ungar of Foundation Jewellery , a small UK manufacturer who style themselves as a luxury ethical jewellery maker. They are licensed to use the Fairtrade Gold mark and are an example of a relatively small, new business who also want to do their bit.
“I am sure these three will prompt, and relish, some lively debate. Victoria Waugh from Fairtrade Gold and Alan Frampton of Cred Jewellery have agreed to join the audience to share their experiences of Fairtrade gold and we really want lots of people to come and share their experiences and their views. The objective of the Great Debate has always been to provoke thought and prompt action – we can’t do that on our own!”
The Great Debate takes place in the Inspirations Theatre from 12 noon until 1.15pm on Monday 3rd September.
To register for IJL and to ensure you receive your free badge before the show visit www.jewellerylondon.com/register