By Joshua Kirby
Compagnie Financière Richemont SA and Danish jeweler Pandora AS have withdrawn from the Responsible Jewelery Council in protest at what they describe as the trade body’s inaction on Russia after the country invaded Ukraine last month.
Swiss luxury goods group Richemont, which owns jewelers Cartier and Van Cleef & Arpels, said on Wednesday the company and its houses were pulling out of the RJC because they “do not want to be members of an industry organization that includes companies that contribute to the financing of conflicts and wars.
The RJC, an organization that aims to ensure the ethical and environmental sustainability of its members’ products, counts most of the major jewelers and suppliers among its members, including the Russian diamond miner Alrosa Co.
Richemont previously said it halted all Russian operations on March 3, following the invasion.
Pandora also said on Wednesday that she was quitting her 12-year RJC membership. “The decision follows the RJC’s failure to suspend Russian business memberships and responsible business certifications and to urge its members to suspend business with Russia,” Pandora said.
RJC President David Bouffard told Dow Jones Newswires that the group has been shocked by the conflict in Ukraine and that a third-party legal review of Alrosa’s membership is currently underway.
The Russian company resigned from its leadership position at the RJC on March 3, according to the RJC website. Any further action would add to that, Bouffard said.
Alrosa did not immediately respond to a request for comment.
“War demands that all companies act with the utmost responsibility regarding any business interaction or transaction with Russia and Belarus. Pandora cannot in good faith be a member of any association that does not share our values,” said Pandora CEO Alexander Lacik.
The company has meanwhile informed all of its suppliers and business partners that no raw materials, products or services can come directly or indirectly from Russia or Belarus, it said. The company had previously suspended all operations in both countries at the end of February.
Write to Joshua Kirby at [email protected]; @joshualeokirby