Fair Trade Gems are closely tracked from mine to market to ensure that every gem has been handled according to strict protocols. The protocols include environmental protection, fair labor practices at the cutting and jewelry factories, and a tight chain of custody that eliminates the possibility of treated gems or synthetics being introduced into the supply chain. The program also includes promotion of cultural diversity, and public education and accountability. Working closely with mine workers, who generally live near the gem deposits, Columbia Gem House plans mining operations to safeguard the natural setting of the mine. This means leaving as much vegetation as possible untouched to reduce the impact on wildlife habitat.