James has worked in the jewellery industry for 18 years, gaining significant expertise in the whole diamond supply chain, from exploration to retail, in particular understanding the interactions between various parts of the industry. He spent time sorting and buying diamonds, and spent significant time in Southern and Central Africa working with both the exploration teams and buying offices for De Beers. More recently, he worked in a number of departments in De Beers in London, notably Marketing Liaison, Sales and Marketing and External and Corporate Affairs, where he was part of the team that started both the Consumer Confidence programme and the De Beers Best Practice Principles.

James co-authored the De Beers Best Practice Principles Assurance Programme and managed its implementation across the entire De Beers supply chain until 2009. To date, this is the largest programme dealing with non-financial risks within the jewellery industry, covering some 3,500 facilities in 55 countries, from operations with 3 or fewer employees to those with over 5,000. James is a qualified lead auditor with SAI for the international SA8000 social accountability standard.

Whilst at De Beers, James served on a number of trade bodies within the jewellery industry, most notably serving as a Director and Treasurer of the Responsible Jewellery Council as well as being the founding Chair of its Standards Committee from its inauguration in 2004 until early 2009. James also served as a member of the President’s Council of CIBJO, the World Jewellery Confederation as well as the Vice-Chair of its ethics Committee from 2003 until early 2008.
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