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Current Projects

Feasibility Study for a Fairtrade Gold Centre of Excellence Programme

Fairtrade International is currently seeking proposals from parties interested in conducting a feasibility study on a Fairtrade Gold ‘Centre of Excellence’ programme.  Please see details below for more information, or contact Amy Ross at gold-pm@fairtrade.net or on +44 207 440 8599.

TERMS OF REFERENCE

  1. Background

Fairtrade is an alternative approach to conventional trade based on a partnership between producers and consumers. Fairtrade offers producers a better deal and improved terms of trade, allowing them the opportunity to improve their lives and plan for their future. Fairtrade offers consumers a powerful way to reduce poverty through their consumer choices. Fairtrade International (FI) is the international non-profit, multi-stakeholder body that is responsible for the strategic direction of Fairtrade, sets Fairtrade standards and supports producers.

Gold is Fairtrade’s newest and only non-agricultural product to date. Launched in 2011 under a partnership with the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), Fairtrade Gold is now available in 16 markets globally, sourced from certified artisanal and small-scale mining organisations (ASMOs) in Latin America. Funded by a 3-year grant from Comic Relief, Fairtrade has also been supporting pilot groups in Kenya, Tanzania and Uganda to supply the first Fairtrade certified gold from Africa.

Artisanal and small-scale gold mining (ASGM) is a livelihood for as many as 16 million people worldwide, many of them living in high levels of poverty despite the value of the metal they mine. Health and safety conditions around the mines are generally poor, and miners face a host of dangers including the effects of unregulated use of mercury which is used in the extraction of gold. Poor regulation of the ASGM sector in many countries forces miners to enter into informal and sometimes illegal operations, marginalised from formal economies and selling their gold on the black market to unscrupulous traders.

The Fairtrade Gold programme seeks to empower miners to improve their livelihoods and contribute to the social, economic and environmental development of their communities. They do this by becoming certified under the Fairtrade Standard for Gold and Associated Precious Metals for Artisanal and Small-scale Mining and selling their gold on Fairtrade terms (95% of LBMA plus 10% Premium for conventional gold/15% Premium for gold produced without the use of chemicals) to international Fairtrade markets.

Fairtrade is currently looking for ways to sustain the impact of the Fairtrade Gold pilot programme in East Africa and expand the reach of responsible mining practices, building a sustainable supply of certified gold from the region. A ‘Centres of Excellence’ programme that promotes responsible mining in line with the Fairtrade standard for gold, using certified mining organisations as beacons of best practice or ‘Centres of Excellence’ for the rest of the sector, is one option that is being considered.

  1. Objective of the Assignment

The key objective of this assignment is to assess the feasibility and potential impact of a Fairtrade Gold ‘Centres of Excellence’ programme in East Africa. Recommendations to Fairtrade International regarding the potential structure, scope, operational management and funding of such a programme should draw on learning from other similar programmes in the agricultural and ASM sectors, but should also be appropriate to the nature of the Fairtrade system.

  1. Scope of the Work/ Duties and Responsibilities
  • Desktop research into comparable programmes in the ASM and agricultural sectors;
  • Field trip to pilot mining organization(s) in East Africa to establish readiness and identify capacity gaps that would need to be addressed in order to establish a Centre of Excellence;
  • Prepare a comprehensive report on the feasibility of a Centres of Excellence programme, including recommendations for Fairtrade International (detailed below). 
  1. Expected Deliverables

The consultant is expected to deliver a comprehensive report on the feasibility of a ‘Centres of Excellence’ programme for Fairtrade Gold, including:

  • Recommendations on the structure, scope, operational management and funding model of a Centres of Excellence programme;
  • Indication of seed funding required to support ASMOs to operate as a Centre of Excellence;
  • Indication of ongoing investment required to sustain and support a Centre of Excellence, and where that fundind should come from;
  • Recommendation of potential ASMOs to pilot the programme;
  • Identification of potential secondary benefits eg local advocacy and policy impact;
  • Learning captured by similar initiatives that might help to deliver a more impactful programme.

All submitted documents should be in written English language.

  1. Duration of the Assignment

The total duration of the contract assignment will be six weeks between 1st December 2014 and 20th February 2015(subject to confirmation).

  1. Inputs
  • Fairtrade will provide the consultant with background information and materials on the Fairtrade system, the Fairtrade Gold programme, the Fairtrade standard for gold, and learning captured so far from the programmes in Latin America and East Africa;
  • Fairtrade will introduce the consultant to relevant stakeholders within the Fairtrade system for the purpose of desktop research and preparatory planning. NB it will be the responsibility of the consultant to make contact with external stakeholders including other initiatives delivering similar programmes of work;
  • Fairtrade will provide the consultant with guidance relating to the logistics of the field trip and provide the necessary introductions to ASMOs and local partners;
  • The consultant is expected to work remotely using her/his own computer. 
  1. Performance Evaluation

The consultant’s performance will be evaluated based on timeliness, responsibility, initiative, communication, accuracy, and quality of deliverables.

  1. Experience and Qualifications

Required

  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience in conducting feasibility studies and case modeling for start-ups or ongoing institutions;
  • Demonstrable knowledge and experience in enterprise development especially in designing capacity building programmes for producer cooperatives or community-based enterprises;
  • Understanding of the ASM sector and certification programmes for ASM.

Desired

  • Demonstrable knowledge of the design and implementation of other Centre of Excellence models for producer cooperatives or community based enterprises;
  • Knowledge of the Fairtrade standard for gold would be an added advantage.
  1. Submission of Application

Interested candidates are requested to submit electronic application to gold-pm@fairtrade.net no later than 28th November 2014.

Submission package

  • CV of the consultant and any other individuals who will contribute to the project
  • A project proposal containing a statement on the candidate’s experience
  • A financial proposal clearly specifying a total lump sum amount including daily professional fee and travel expenses (from country of origin to East Africa), visas and other travel-related costs.

All applications must include (as an attachment) the CV and the financial proposal. Applications without a financial proposal will be treated as incomplete and will not be considered for further assessment.

Please note that only candidates selected for an interview will be contacted.