The Natural Diamond Council (NDC) is expected to lose approximately half of its budget for 2023, a brutal blow for the international industry advocate.
The NDC was established in 2000 with the intention of advancing the trade for the entirety of the diamond value chain, from mining to retail. One core focus for the organisation was reducing the trade of ‘conflict diamonds’.
David Kellie, the NDC’s CEO since 2019, recently spoke at the Antwerp World Diamond Centre and highlighted the significance of Alrosa’s departure from the organisation earlier this year.
“In February of this year, Alrosa suspended themselves from the NDC, resulting in a loss of almost half our financial resources for 2023,” he said.
“This is a crisis that is coming our way for the industry and one that I hope we can discuss together as a matter of urgency.”
Alrosa’s self-suspension came following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine in late February.
Kellie also lamented what he described as a failure for diamond jewellery to perform on par with the rest of the luxury industry which he attributed to failures in marketing.
“This [modern] consumer bears no resemblance to the consumer upon which our industry was built,” he said.
“Contrary to some opinions in the industry, she isn’t sitting at home watching cable TV.
“She’s on TikTok, YouTube, Twitter, and Snapchat. These are the platforms upon which she’s being influenced today. Our consumer is on all these other platforms, where the industry, apart from the NDC and luxury brands, doesn’t exist.”
Kellie’s presentation wasn’t all bad news – he also highlighted a number of favourable trends in recent years, in particular the rise of the ‘female self-purchase’ market. He also said that 130 million consumers now use the NDC’s Only Natural Diamonds platform each year.
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