The Swiss Better Gold Association (SBGA) is a non-for-profit association created by Swiss players of the gold supply chain, from refiners to retailers. It is an open initiative for interested and committed members. SBGA’s aim is to create a simple market driven mechanism that enables formalized gold mining entities to adopt more socially inclusive and better environmental practices.

In 2013, the private sector (Swiss Better Gold Association – SBGA) and the Swiss Government (State Secretariat for Economic Affairs - SECO) launched/created a public-private partnership called the Better Gold Initiative (BGI). BGI is an integrated supply chain project that aims at improving the social and environmental condition of Artisanal, Small and Medium Scale Gold Mining (ASM) throughout the world. The first country to launch the initiative was Peru in 2013 (BGI website Peru).

The SBGA offers a pioneering network of industry, finance and other service providers to support
the creation of a transparent, accountable and responsible gold value chain from mine to market.

The SBGA:
(a) supports ASM development towards responsible mining,
(b) facilitates ASM access to the international market and financing,
(c) encourages progress toward better social, environmental conditions.

Better Gold (BG), as defined by SBGA, is  gold sourced from certified ASM.

Goal
The main goal of SBGA is the development of an efficient, effective and sustainable business of Better Gold supply from ASM. This is achieved through:
●    Creating transparency in the gold supply chain.
●    Enabling traceability in the value chain through a chain of custody system.
●    Enabling compliance with private voluntary standards & best practices, e.g. Alliance for Responsible Mining (ARM) - Fairmined, Fairtrade International gold, Responsible Jewellery Council Code of Practices (RJC CoP) and Chain of Custody (RJC CoC).
●    Facilitating access to capital for ASM-related investment at fair conditions.
●    Providing access to market and supporting sustainable development of mining in the production countries.

To achieve its goals, the SBGA collaborates closely with key stakeholders:
- the BGI and the Swiss Government
- through BGI, central and regional governments in the gold producing countries
- through BGI, a number of local players/actors active in promoting goals similar to those of SBGA
- mines certification partners, i.e. ARM, Fairtrade and the Responsible Jewellery Council
- selected/relevant Non-Governmental Organisations (NGOs) in key markets.


Approach
The approach chosen by SBGA is to:
●    Accept only metal originating from certified ASM.
●    Achieve shorter supply chains and facilitate direct exports for ASM production.
●    Mobilize actors along the supply chain to improve efficiency.
●    Promote environmental and social projects locally through the Better Gold Project Development Fund (BGF).
●    Identify specific projects funded by members that allows for faster ASM operations’ improvement.

The pilot phase focuses on Peru ASM activity. It is anticipated that the project will be expanded to other gold producing countries with large ASM communities.


Core Activities
The core activities defined by SBGA are to:
●    Promote the purchase of Better Gold in Switzerland, by:
o    Raising awareness primarily within the industry
o    Attracting new SBGA members
o    Creating a value chain from mine to market

●    Facilitate the creation of Better Gold supply, by:
o    Expanding the network of business partners from the gold supply chain
o    Creating a significant and increasing flow of Better Gold

●    Manage the use of the BGF