One of the most frustrating things about CSR initiatives in any industry is the cost and effort involved in doing your bit. It's why CSR departments in big corporates have huge difficulty achieving 'buy-in' from the rest of the board of directors.\r\n\r\nBut what if most of the legwork had already been done for you? What if the extra cost involved was transparent, pre-calculated, and simply presented to you as an option to weigh up against the status quo? That's exactly what the Fairtrade Gold scheme is about - taking the logistical hassle out of moral obligations.\r\n\r\nSo how exactly does it work? Small jewellers purchase certified Fairtrade gold and precious metals from a choice of five dedicated \u2018master licensees\u2019 in a semi-finished form, such as sheet, wire, tube or casting grain. Fairtrade says the benefits of the scheme include free annual registration and \u201cvery little\u201d administration. In return, those joining agree to abide by certain terms and conditions that include only using certain pre-determined marketing materials and agreeing to the annual limits of 500g \u00a0of gold or platinum, or two kilograms of silver.\r\n\r\nThe good news is that the take-up in the early months of the scheme has not been insignificant. Over 100 jewellers from across the UK have signed up, and while this represents only a tiny fraction of the UK's indie jewellers, it is certainly a good start. Add to this the news, reported on the August edition of\u00a0Jewellery Focus,\u00a0that the leading casting houses are incorporating Fairtrade gold into their catalogues as a matter of course, and suddenly there is a picture of a groundswell of ethical responsibility being adopted in British jewellery.\r\n\r\nIt is of course tempting to imagine that initiatives such as this are the burdensome consequence of a lofty conversation among the liberal intelligentsia somewhere very far from the jeweller's\u00a0shop floor, but once the tide begins rising, sure as eggs the public will be carried with it, even if it takes a couple of decades. In jewellery, that couple of decades has almost run its course: the public already wants to know about whether diamonds are from conflict zones for example, and it is not much of stretch for them to start asking where the gold of their wedding band was mined.\r\n\r\nFor that reason, a scheme such as this, which makes it easier than ever to 'get ethical', should be a no-brainer. For those jewellers who are still not preparing to\u00a0play their part in building\u00a0a clean and fair supply chain: you are running out of excuses.