March 28, 2002
CIBJO Congress Moves Members Closer to Consumer Interests
CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation, meeting for its annual Congress in Munich, Germany, decisively moved toward a new image of responsibility to protect consumers and meet their needs.
"CIBJO is trying to do everything in its power to deliver the right message ... to protect those at the center of the industry, the consumers," says Gaetano Cavalieri, CIBJO's president. A theme at the Munich Congress, held March 21-26, was instilling confidence in consumers that the worldwide jewelry industry is acting ethically and protecting consumers in all its business practices.
Along with holding ongoing discussions about gemstone treatment disclosure, particularly of new heated corundum from Thailand, the congress also ratified two resolutions supporting the Kimberley Process and the Tucson Tanzanite Protocol. The latter two efforts are designed to protect gemstones from exploitation by rebel, criminal or terrorist organizations.
Delegates to the Congress heard from two European marketing experts about the industry's need to move closer to its ultimate consumers. Decision makers in the mining, manufacturing, wholesaling and retailing sectors must base company strategy on a more sophisticated understanding of the fashion and lifestyle trends affecting jewelry purchases at the consumer level.
Presentations by representatives from the World Gold Council, Platinum Guild International and Diamond Trading Co., all associate members of CIBJO, affirmed the consumer marketing strategy. Each representative detailed his organization's ongoing efforts to move closer to consumers in increasing demand for jewelry products.
CIBJO members also discussed other ways the organization could publicize its mission to consumers. Among ideas suggested were an international jewelry design contest coordinated among major trade promotion groups, internationally devised gem treatment disclosure booklets, and a possible worldwide organization within CIBJO modeled after the U.S. Jewelers Vigilance Committee that could handle consumer advocacy issues.
CIBJO also introduced a revamped and expanded website for the confederation, to facilitate communication among various countries, sectors and commissions within the worldwide organization. A consumer component to the site is planned to increase consumer awareness that there is one international organization handling coordination on issues of human rights, ethics and social responsibility.
CIBJO members, for the first time, chose English as their language of communication during the Congress. It also admitted several new members and endorsed the policy of allowing sponsors such as trade shows and affiliated service companies for the organization's events and activities.
by Peggy Jo Donahue