Just as there is no diamond business without diamond miners or jewelry stores, there is no diamond industry without diamond manufacturers, the people who polish diamonds. Like many other business sectors, diamond manufacturers also opted to organize and form an association, in this case, the International Diamond Manufacturers Association (IDMA).
IDMA was founded in Antwerp in 1946, at the same time that the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB) was founded. The association’s membership is made up of local diamond manufacturing associations from all around the world, and as such, IDMA serves as the umbrella organization of these associations and can successfully represent them in international forums.
At its core, IDMA focuses on resolving broad issues affecting diamond manufacturers worldwide. One such issue is acting as an intermediary between diamond manufacturers and diamond miners to resolve matters of high rough diamond costs, for example.
Bringing together some 16 different diamond manufacturing associations, IDMA is “committed to fostering and promoting the highest ideals of honesty and best practice principles throughout the diamond industry worldwide, as well as full compliance with all relevant national and international laws,” as it states. So not only does it represent diamond manufacturing, it seeks to represent the diamond industry itself.
To realize its goals, IDMA has developed and adopted a code of conduct. This code of conduct is binding to all IDMA members. It states that IDMA members will observe the highest standards of business and personal conduct in all activities relating to the business of diamonds and diamond jewelry, including ethical behavior, compliance with all applicable national and international laws, avoid damaging the reputation and image of the diamond industry, as well as promoting high ideals and standards of practice for all industry participants.
Because manufacturers deal with rough diamonds, there is a special emphasis on compliance with the Kimberley Process, in addition to anti-money laundering laws, rules and regulations which seek to halt use of diamonds for any illegal or illicit purposes.
Finally, IDMA developed rules of business conduct. They include promoting social responsibility and ethical labor practices: refraining from all discrimination, including discrimination based upon gender, race, religion, age, disability, sexual orientation, nationality, political opinion, or social or ethnic origin; providing a safe and healthy working environment free of danger and paying fair and reasonable wages.
Over the years, IDMA has promoted a commitment to the best interests of customers and consumers. This includes a requirement that IDMA members act fairly, honestly and ethically in all business dealings, provide full disclosure, and accurately and honestly represent their products in all advertising, promotion and sales.
With this code of conduct, IDMA made sure that the diamond manufacturing sector of the diamond industry serves three defined groups: employees, consumers, and the manufacturing business owners as well.
Specifically, IDMA made a commitment to global society, encouraging diamond manufacturers to make a contribution to the advancement of society, while respecting human rights and democratic institutions, promoting human development through harmonious relations between the diamond industry and other segments of society, advancing sustainable development of the environment and the earth’s resources.
According to the code of conduct, any material violation may result in termination of IDMA membership.
At the heart of IDMA’s activities is the work to encourage fair practices and decent working conditions for those employed in the diamond industry, as well as promoting consumer trust in diamonds and diamond jewelry.
Along with what it requires from its members, IDMA also understands that it needs to set an example for its members in its own actions. To that end, it takes what it calls “a unified leadership role” with other organizations in the industry on issues affecting the industry, and convenes biennially at the same time and place as the World Federation of Diamond Bourses (WFDB), holding the World Diamond Congress.
The Congress includes a session of the general assemblies of both organizations, where joint resolutions are passed on current issues of concern. It was through this meetings that IDMA played an active role in establishing the Kimberley Process Certification Scheme. IDMA and WFDB are co-founders of the World Diamond Council (WDC).
Diamond industrialist Ehud Arye Laniado is a man passionate about diamonds. From his early 20s in Africa and later in Belgium honing his expertise in forecasting the value of polished diamonds by examining rough diamonds by hand, till today four decades later, as chairman of his international diamond businesses spanning mining, exploration, rough and polished diamond valuation, trading, manufacturing, retail and consultancy services, Laniado has mastered both the miniscule details of evaluating and pricing individual rough diamonds and the entire structure of the diamond industry. Today, his global operations are at the forefront of the industry, recognised in diamond capitals from Mumbai to Tel Aviv and Hong Kong to New York.