In a blog on the De Beers website, Cleaver, who took up the CEO role on 1 July, said: “De Beers holds a unique position with consumers, our rough diamond customers, governments, communities and retailers. And with each of these groups, we must recognise that it is not just what we do that matters, but also how we do it”.
“We must never lose sight of the fact that for the entire diamond pipeline to succeed, every individual part of the diamond pipeline needs to succeed”, he said.
[quote]Cleaver highlighted that while “consumer demand really is our only source of value – we must therefore all be unrelenting in stimulating it, in established markets, developing markets and emerging markets”.
He cautioned that “taking continued demand for granted would, I believe, be a mistake. And assuming the factors that influenced demand yesterday will be the same as those that influence demand tomorrow is folly. We must embrace changing consumer trends and see them as an opportunity to grow”.
“Whether it be stimulating demand, protecting product integrity or increasing production, investment is a key tool we have if we wish to play a decisive role in shaping our future,” he said.
Turning to the role that diamonds play in socio-economic growth, Cleaver said: “I have been privileged to see for myself the good that diamonds have done for communities and governments around the world where we operate. They make positive contributions to countries that have used their revenues wisely, to communities that surround operations and to the beneficiaries of the practical benefits of responsible mining and ethical sourcing. Diamonds do good, but I think they can – and should – do better.”
Cleaver added: “As partners, we must be bolder and braver, broaden our horizons, and accept that solutions to the sector’s challenges may lie outside of it, such as in supply chain efficiencies and marketing strategies. We need to be open, to learn from others, and willing to change.”