Susan Wheeler Talks Virtu Gem and Supply Chain Ethics.

Virtu gem is not-for-profit initiative to sell gems, sourced from artisanal miners, to jewelers and thus help the mining community. Prior to Covid-19, I was working with two colleagues, Monica Gichuhi and Jessica Hudson on our second collaboration, which was supposed to be AGEC Africa’s conference in Zambia during the Summer of 2020. When the pandemic hit, we had to cancel the conference. Thanks to our existing relationships with mining and trade organizations, people who were going to exhibit gems at the conference could now show them online, thus we were able to quickly transform the planning of this physical event into the beginning stages of the Virtu Gem project as a timely response to a call to action from the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD):  Emergency Action Needed for Vulnerable Artisanal & Small-Scale Mining Communities & Supply Chains