Mica is a mineral used across various industries, thanks to its versatile and environmental friendly properties as an effect pigment, isolator or joint compound. In India, mica mainly originates from Jharkhand and Bihar, two remote regions in North east India, highly dependent on this mineral. NGO and observers have raised the risk of child labour in the collection of informal mica and unsafe working conditions, while legal mines only contribute to a small part in the total volume of mica exported.
For many years, individual initiatives mainly from the cosmetic and ingredient industries have popped up focusing on child education, or improving the traceability of the supply chain. These solutions have proven successful; today more than 100 villages are currently involved in a program to improve access to education and health services and major suppliers have increased the traceability of their supply chain. But this is not enough.
Three key pillars
The Responsible Mica Initiative regroups stakeholders that acknowledge the need for more collaborative and concrete cross-industry actions in order to scale up these individual initiatives for a long-term impact. The success of this initiative lies in a defined roadmap with 3 key pillars:
- Implement fair and sustainable mica collection, processing and sourcing practices and improve traceability along the Indian mica supply chain: this includes carrying out projects such as co-building and implementing “Responsible Mica specifications” on the whole value chain, deploying control systems and running pilot tests on the field with collectors and manufacturers.
- Empower local communities to ensure long lasting change: by deploying empowerment programs to additional villages in India, defining a scaling-up plan and process, and carrying out impact assessments, among other projects.
- Work together with the Indian government and local authoritiesto build a legal framework and livable environment for Indian mica communities.
The “Responsible Mica Initiative” is a positive outcome related to the Delhi Mica Sourcing Summit organized in February 2016 by The Natural Resources Stewardship Circle (NRSC) and its partners, reassured by Terre des Hommes Nederland’s recent on-the-ground research. This initiative is set to be carried out over the course of 5 years, and will be funded through both public and private funds.
With the launch of the Responsible Mica Initiative, stakeholders reiterate their commitment for a responsible Indian mica sourching.
Based in France
The Responsible Mica Initiative is an association, constituted in accordance with the French Law of 1901 concerning non-profit organization, with its head offices located in 57 avenue Pierre Sémard – 06130 Grasse FRANCE.
For more infromation go to www.responsible-mica-initiative.com