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Anderson- Her niche in life and business found setting up a green farm of a
unique type across the globe in Africa
Sierra Leone is a long way from the glitz and glamour of Hollywood where
movie stars and celebrities wear jewelry often harvested by African communities
on the brink of destruction.
But is it where Hastings-born Anna-Mieke Anderson realised her dream setting up
"The Greener Diamond Farm" which aims to reduce the impact mining has on its
environment and people.
She initially founded her business MiaDonna and Co in 2005 in Portland, Oregon,
developing technology to make man-made diamond products as an alternative to
conflict diamonds, also known as "blood diamonds" mined in Africa.
Last year she set up The Greener Diamond Foundation which uses profits from
MiaDonna and Co to fund projects in Africa to repair the damage by the diamond
One of those is The Greener Diamond Farm which is just over 100 acres (40
hectares) in the Kono District of Sierra Leone and employs over 500 people who
are reformed child soldiers or street kids.
"I have not found any other companies doing this, at least not with the same
passion and truth that we are doing it," Anna-Mieke says.
"I originally started MiaDonna and The Greener Diamond because I was a consumer
that wanted a guaranteed conflict-free diamond ring and I could not find one."
The number of American consumers supporting MiaDonna and Co continues to
increase but the company also receives orders from NZ.
"The Greener Diamond reminds consumers they need to be educated on the products
they purchase, they need to vote with their money because as consumers we hold
Anna-Mieke never thought she'd be an advocate for diamond communities when she
began her career as a makeup and special effects artist in Australia.
She's worked in fashion, film and television, on shows such as The Matrix, Babe,
The Muse and The Jay Leno Show.
She still has family in HB, Taupo and Auckland.
"I feel it is important to remind my kids where they come from, so getting them
'home' is a wonderful treat for us."
The Profit magazine - Winter ed. 2011
See www.miadonna.com and
www.thegreenerdiamond.org for details.