September 9, 2005
IDMA and WFDB Join CIBJO in Declining Membership in CRJP; Council Responds
The World Federation of Diamond Bourses and the International Diamond Manufacturers Association joined CIBJO, The World Jewellery Confederation, in issuing a joint statement expressing their collective "reservations" about the planned structure and system of operation of the newly formed Council for Responsible Jewellery Practices. CIBJO was one of the 14 founding members of CRJP and it formally withdrew from CRJP on Aug. 31. IDMA and WFDB both declined the new council's invitation to join subsequently.
Reinterating what CIBJO had stated in its withdrawal, the associations said: "We will continue to become involved in projects that we believe will defend [our] values and at the same time serve the interests of all the legitimate stakeholders in our industry. But we do not believe that CRJP, with its currently proposed structure and with its system of operation, will serve the interests of most of the industry."
Speaking on behalf of the Council, Jewelers of America's Marketing Manager Clifford Jackson said the Council was "very disappointed at CIBJO's withdrawal" but that CIBJO and the other groups were always welcome to rejoin the process.
Jackson said the implementation model for the council isn't even close to being finalized and that CIBJO was reacting to a very early draft proposal - not a fait accompli. "There's not even a timeline yet for when the implementation model will be finalized," said Jackson. "That's why it's so disappointing that CIBJO chose to withdraw."
Jackson said one of the reasons CIBJO was a founding member of CRJP was to represent the interests of small and medium sized companies. Now that it is no longer a part of the process, the opinions of those companies are not represented. "Just as JA is one of the founding members to represent smaller retailers, so also was CIBJO to be the voice of small and mid-sized companies around the world," he said.
"The Council's goal right now is simply to reach out to as many interested parties as possible, from retailers and manufacturers to NGO's - the group wants everyone's opinions before the implementation model is finalized," said Jackson. "It's tough to get everyone to agree, but that's why there's discussion and debate at this juncture."
by Peggy Jo Donahue