So the Fairtrade Organisation have a piece on their website, all about Gold and how it is a symbol of love, power and wealth. What I enjoyed about it was the awareness they bring to their posts surrounding the harsh reality of mining and the not so glamorous side. Gold is mined all over the world but still, 90% of gold miners globally are artisanal and small-scale miners. An estimated 100 million people worldwide rely on small-scale mining to support their families and communities. In non-Fairtrade small-scale gold mines, miners extract the precious metal using toxic chemicals such as mercury. Even though this is harmful for humans and the environment it has become a necessary process, purely because they can’t afford to use safer processing methods. This can cause birth defects, brain and kidney damage and contaminate water supplies entering the food chain through poisoned fish, all making small-scale gold mining the largest source of mercury pollution to air and water combined. Because of this poverty and the absence of proper regulations and legal protections, small-scale miners are also exploited by traders. They rarely receive a fair price for their product, even when the world gold price rises and so miners continue to struggle to generate enough profit or attract the finance needed to invest in their operations/for safer, more efficient mining practices and technology!Doesn’t this just make you realise how amazing and important Fairtrade can be no matter what trade, whether it be food, water, clothing or in our case, Fairtrade Gold.