With regard to your article “MPs: Ban import of child-labour stone” (12 February, page 14), I would like to draw your attention to the Stone Federation’s document, Selecting the Correct Stone, which is to be published shortly.
It contains the following words: “Ethical/social issues: The quarry/mine should have consultation with the local communities about the impact of their operations and may have objectives and targets to reduce these impacts and any resulting complaints. For the employees, there should be encouragement for learning and development. Most UK and EU sites will have these in place, but it becomes more important when stones are being considered from developing countries.
“Although it is tempting to look at more competitively priced stones it should be equally important to ensure that the company extracting it is conducting its operation in an ethical manner. Child labour and bonded labour is still used in quarry sites in the developing world and companies that have been encouraged to abandon these practises should not find themselves penalised by the price being the only factor of consideration.
“It is vitally important that the extraction site is visited and appropriate questions asked. The health and safety of these operations should also be assessed and health and safety policies can be requested and these can be compared with the actual operating conditions.
Jane Buxey, chief executive, Stone Federation