Patrick Schein

Patrick Schein
Président of S&P Trading

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Who are we?

« A trader and refiner of precious metals for over 20 years, in 1992 I established S&P Trading, an international trading company, and Aurfina, a refining company. Active primarily in Latin America, since it was founded, S&P Trading has provided technical, logistical and financial support to small and medium-sized local producers in exchange for the purchase of the gold they produce.

In 2004, I began thinking about how to adapt and promote the fair trade economic model to the gold market, in order to improve the incomes and living conditions of these small artisanal mining operations.

Drafting the first fair trade gold standards

 In this spirit, in 2006 I joined the Board of Directors and the Technical Committee of the Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM), which is preparing the first standards for fair trade gold and is specifically responsible for all marketing, logistics and refining aspects. I went on to join the association's Executive Committee in March 2008. Since 2007, ARM has been working with Fairtrade Labelling Organizations International (FLO) to create the first independent fair trade gold certification, the standards and label of which were finalized in March 2010.

At the same time, in 2005-2006 I acted as artisanal gold consultant to the UNIDO - United Nations Industrial Development Organization (UNIDO), in connection with the implementation of the Global Mercury Project to reduce mercury emissions. The study was designed notably to show how, by improving the income of artisanal and small-scale (ASM) gold miners, adopting the fair trade model could contribute to the substantial reduction of the amount of mercury released into the environment (link to this study).

Between 2006 and 2008 I also worked with a gold mining company based in French Guyana, where I was in charge of finance and gold sales, which allowed me to learn a great deal about the specificities of the Guyanese gold trade.

Finally, S&P Trading has recently launched a public website for the recycling of jewelry that has reached the end of its useful life, to (i) offset the drop in the refining of materials sourced from the domestic jewelry industry and (ii) be able to ensure the sustainability of our supply of recycled precious metals, for which demand is growing steadily stronger (Gold by Gold).

Fair trade gold, a 100% traceable artisanal gold

With the knowledge gained from these various activities, in recent years I was able to establish several trade routes for 100%-traceable artisanal gold, between several South American countries (Bolivia, Colombia, Peru and Ecuador) and the European and North American markets.”

Patrick Schein
Chief Executive Officer of S&P Trading