Global Business Calls for WFDB Presidents and Diamond Producers Association to Work Together
WFDB President Ernie Blom said in the 2017 Presidents Meeting on Tuesday that the organisation will work in close cooperation with the Diamond Producers Association (DPA) to help boost its generic diamond marketing efforts. Mentioning reports that the DPA was looking to boost its annual budget from the current $6 million, he said that the increase in the DPA’s budget will allow it to invest in more sophisticated and long-term programs.
“It is required for the researching of market and allocating resources in a way that enables you to reach your target audience in the most efficient way possible. The WFDB-supported World Diamond Mark (WDM) initiative will work with the DPA because we recognize that generic marketing is critical for our business. We wish the DPA great success in its efforts and pledge to work together for the good of the entire industry,” said Blom.
Blom laid out the challenges facing the global diamond business, but urged colleagues to remain positive. “Although the issues of financing, mixing of undisclosed synthetic stones and others are difficult, we must be determined in dealing with them.” There are many bright spots from which the trade can draw great confidence, he said, including the tax agreements in Belgium and Israel last year and the Gem and Jewellery Export Promotion Council’s (GJEPC) generic diamond promotion campaigns in India with De Beers. In addition, the GJEPC has become a full WFDB member and the Federation is working on bringing in more members.
Welcoming the WFDB Presidents to India, Bharat Diamond Bourse President Anoop Mehta spoke about synthetic diamonds and the widespread efforts the Indian diamond trade has taken in providing detection equipment and seminars on the issue for traders. GJEPC Chairman Praveenshankar Pandya talked about the challenges facing the diamond industry. “Unless the midstream is strong the rest of the industry cannot be strong,” he commented.
Ashish Mehta, Convenor Natural Diamond Monitoring Committee established by the Indian trade to monitor the scope of synthetic diamond trading, spoke about the work of the GJEPC in this regard across India. DPA CEO Jean-Marc Lieberherr addressed the meeting, providing an update on the work of the body. The DPA will increase investment in the United States, and plans to enter the Indian market in September 2017 and China in January 2018. He revealed a DPA initiative to combat undisclosed synthetic diamonds by establishing an independent diamond screening equipment testing lab to test the range of detection machines available. “The project will be led by the DPA, but will involve key industry organizations, including the WFDB and GJEPC, and main equipment manufacturers so that the solution delivered meets the needs of the industry and satisfies the manufacturers’ expectations of independence and objectivity,” Lieberherr explained.
In the end, WFDB Presidents agreed to engage with the International Grown Diamond Association.