Dear Global Leather Industry Colleagues,

 I want to draw your attention to the attached infographic that the Leather and Hide Council of America (LHCA) intends to send out and post on social media channels later today. We will accompany it with a press release that provides additional information about the industry and basic facts about the association. Using a new media tool we recently acquired, we will be sending this infographic and press release to a significant number of media contacts in fashion, footwear, sustainability and lifestyle media outlets. Currently, we have a target list of several hundred media outlets that will receive this information.

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Only two of Tanzania’s eight tanneries are now operating, as they are unable to make a profit on leather, according to specialist local press.

S&V Africa Leather quotes Niaz Hirani, head of leather at tannery operator Industrial Promotion Services, who said the situation is so bad that most hides are now being dried and sold to West Africa as food, a local delicacy.

Tanners in East Africa have warehouses of hides they are unable to process, and might soon have to sell them for less than they paid to liquidate stock, he added.


The authorities in Botswana have said construction will start soon on a new leather park at Lobatse and could be ready to start production within 18 months.

At a recent seminar on the project, Lesitamang Paya, who is co-ordinating work on the leather park for the local authority, said that Botswana’s current cattle population of 1.8 million head would be unable to supply the volume of hides the site will need to operate efficiently.

He said his calculations show that 75 tonnes of hides per day will be needed as raw material for the leather park to operate well. He called on livestock farmers in Botswana to improve their herd management, starting immediately, to supply the hides required.

Around 60% of the raw material the new leather park will process will be bovine hides, he explained, with exotic skins, including ostrich and crocodile, making up the rest.

Mr Paya added that the leather park is also likely to consume two million litres of water per day. He said the project’s solution to this was to build the park close to an existing water resource, a sewerage treatment facility close to Lobatse. He explained that the plan was to extract water from here, treat it and use it in leather production. Wastewater from tanning operations will then be used at a nearby farm.

In addition, there will be a dedicated, secure landfill site for disposing of solid waste from the park.


Ethiopian footwear manufacturer Anbessa has emerged as the successful bidder in an auction to acquire a tannery in Bahir Dar, around 500 kilometres north of Addis Ababa.

The former Habesha tannery operated from 2011 until April 2019, making crust for export markets. When it ceased production, banks moved in and arranged the auction to recoup some of the money the previous owners owed.

Anbessa has said it plans to buy new machinery, to take production as far as finished leather, which it intends to use in its own footwear manufacturing operations. It also said it will build a new water treatment plant at the site.

After securing ownership of the tannery, Bamlaku Demissie, general manager of Anbessa, said: “We’ve been buying finished leather from the different tanneries. Now we’ll make our own.”

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At the recent All China Leather Exhibition in Shanghai, secretary general of the China Leather Industry Association, Chen Zhanguang, announced new guidelines that the agency has distributed to member companies regarding the correct use of the English term ‘leather’.

“These are only guidelines and not yet law,” Mr Chen said, “and it will take time for regulation to come in. But the All China Leather Exhibition is the best place to start implementing this practice.”

Turkish tanners, leather chemicals and tanning machinery manufacturers have built strong ties with partners in Africa.

Companies in Kenya, Uganda, Nigeria, Sudan and other parts of Africa have found willing buyers in Turkey of raw and semi-processed hides and skins.

In parallel, Turkish tanning machinery manufacturers and leather chemicals suppliers have been able to make sales among these African suppliers. “A new trading system is in operation,” industry commentators have said.


Traders from across Kenya have come together to call on the government to revise the 80% duty that is currently imposed on exports of raw hides and skins. They say that such a tariff on trade with other East African markets is damaging their businesses.

They made their case at the annual general meeting of the East Africa Hides and Skins Association. Following the meeting, chairperson Karuri Ngige said a more lenient tax system would open the sector to more tanneries and allow for existing ones to expand their markets.

She explained that the traders want tax to be calculated on the export value of local hides and skins, rather than on their total weight.

The Kenyan government implemented the high tax rate on raw hides and skins in an effort to encourage domestic value addition, although Ms Ngige argued that it has had little effect on the country’s leather value chain.


ALLPI Receiving the IULTCS Flag for the Next IULTCS Congress 2021

Toscana Machine Calzature (TMC) and ItalProgetti have signed an agreement with prisons department to establish two leather factories in Moshi Region.

The two factories, one for shoe-making and another for tanneries, will be constructed on 25 acres of land at the industrial area within Karanga Prison.

Tanzania has been importing shoes and leather products while making little use of its livestock products.

Two Italian companies have entered Tanzania’s leather sector to take advantage of the large quantities of raw hides and skins produced every year in the country.

Toscana Machine Calzature (TMC) and ItalProgetti have signed an agreement with Prisons Department and the Public Service Social Security Fund to establish two leather factories in Moshi in Kilimanjaro Region.

The companies will invest $24.5 million to construct two leather factories to be managed jointly with Karanga Leather Industries Company Ltd in Karanga Prison.

The two factories, one for shoe-making and another for tanneries, will be constructed on 25 acres of land at the industrial area within Karanga Prison, and are set for completion in 16 months.
TMC sales manager Daniele Ferradini said the Italian companies will provide both finances and technology for production of quality leather products for export to Italy and other European countries. The plant is expected to produce 1.2 million pairs of shoes per year.

The Public Service Social Security Fund and the National Social Security Fund are also reviving leather factories in Morogoro Region with the Prisons Department.


Ethiopian experts in the leather and footwear sector on Thursday hailed a Chinese-built research center, the first of its kind in Ethiopia, as an important boost to the country’s ambition in modernizing related products.

The Ethiopia-China Joint Laboratory at the Ethiopian Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI) was built by a team of Chinese experts with high-end Chinese technologies from the Chinese Leather and Footwear Industrial Research Institute (CLFI).

The joint laboratory, which mainly embraced a tannery wastewater treatment plant, was designed to provide Ethiopian researchers with the latest laboratory technologies as the East African country aspires to fully exploit its abundant cattle population, LIDI officials told Xinhua on Thursday.


Chinese footwear group Huajian has signed a 15-year lease on an industrial park in Ethiopia, with buildings earmarked for shoe and leathergoods production.

Local press report that the Chinese conglomerate has ambitious plans for Jimma Industrial Park, which include setting up a coffee processing plant and creating 15,000 jobs.

The park is around 350km from the capital, and was constructed by China Communications Construction Company with an investment of $61 million, said reports.

Huajian already owns a large shoe manufacturing facility on the outskirts of Addis Ababa, and has also been in talks to set up factories in Nigeria.


A meeting of the East African Community’s (EAC) Leather Forum has taken place in Arusha, Tanzania, during which there were calls for the bloc to create a more easily accessible market for leather products.

The forum was convened by the East African Business Council (EABC). It brought together leather industry figures from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

Among the recommendations to come out of this meeting were the creation of a regional market for leather products and a more conducive business environment to promote local value addition in the leather sector. Those present also called for the implementation of a regional leather strategy to be fast-tracked.

The EAC Secretariat is in the process of developing a regional leather and leather products strategy, which would cover the period from 2019-2029.

Among the speakers at the forum was Beatrice Mwasi, secretary general of the Kenya Leather Apex Society, a new umbrella body launched in November. She urged the EAC leather industry to be more innovative and to improve branding. She also called for EAC partner states to offer incentives for value addition in the leather sector.

THE East African Community (EAC) Leather Forum has urged the bloc to create readily accessible market for leather products. The forum has called for EAC to fast track the implementation of Regional Leather Strategy.

The forum was convened by the East African Business Council (EABC) and brought together over 40 industry champions in leather manufacturing from Burundi, Kenya, Rwanda, South Sudan, Tanzania and Uganda.

The forum has recommended for the creation of a readily accessible regional market for leather products and a conducive business environment to promote regional value addition in the leather sector. According to World Bank Kenya Leather Industry - Diagnosis, Strategy and Action Plan, Leather and Leather products are among the most widely traded agro-based commodities in the world.

The industry has a global estimated trade value of over US$ 150 billion a year, more than five times that of coffee.


The 2016 Tannery of the Year Awards took place in Hong Kong on March 30. A distinguished panel of five judges chose regional winners for Africa, Asia excluding China, the Americas, China and Europe and, from these, later named the global winner for this, the fifth programme of Tannery of the Year.

Regional winners were: White Nile Tannery from Sudan for Africa, Kings International from India for Asia excluding China, Couro do Norte from Brazil for the Americas, Dazhong Leather for China and Atlantic Leather from Iceland for Europe.

The winner of the Global Tannery of the Year award for 2016 was Couro do Norte.

World Leather congratulates all eight finalists who took part in the ceremony and, especially, Couro do Norte.



Leather chemicals manufacturer Stahl has acquired the leather chemicals business of Mumbai-based Viswaat Chemicals. The Indian company manufactures specialty chemicals for a broad range of industries through, Stahl said on making the announcement “constant and innovative research and development, backed by a strong social conscience”.

Viswaat will now produce REACH-compliant syntans, fatliquors and beamhouse solutions for the leather industry exclusively for Stahl; the Dutch company said it believes the acquisition will enable it to strengthen its position in leather chemicals in India, Pakistan and Bangladesh.

Stahl chief executive, Huub van Beijeren, said his company would now be able to serve its clients in the region better. He also said the acquisition is directly linked to the company’s commitments to creating a more transparent supply chain and improving its environmental footprint.


Tanning group PrimeAsia is responding to demands from its customers for shorter lead-times by cutting the amount of time it takes to deliver “relevant core articles” by half.

Calling the initiative its Quick to Market (QTM) platform, PrimeAsia has said it can have articles and colours that feature in its catalogue in its warehouse for shipping 15 days after order confirmation.

Minimum order quantity is just 25 square-feet and no advanced forecast is required. However, if customers want the leather they order to have embossing, perforations or other special treatment, it will take longer.

“PrimeAsia’s QTM platform represents a new way to develop and quickly deliver trend-relevant leathers without sacrificing quality,” the group said on announcing the initiative. Its QTM Athletic Collection 2016 is already available to its sports and outdoor footwear customers and a QTM Casual Collection will follow later this year.

The group has tanneries in China and Vietnam; its China facility won the Global Tannery of the Year Award in 2013, while its tannery in Vietnam won the regional award for Asia excluding China in 2010. It counts Nike, New Balance and Timberland among its biggest customers.


Korean handbag manufacturer Simone claims to be the largest producer of luxury leather goods in the world.

The Seoul-based company is a distributor of luxury leather goods in the Korean market for a number of high-end global brands, but it also makes plenty of products of its own.

Speaking at the 2016 Condé Nast International Luxury Conference in Seoul towards the end of April, Simone director Joowon Park claimed that her company makes 20 million handbags per year and that its workforce has a combined total of 3,500 years of experience. It also runs a museum in the South Korean capital dedicated to handbags.

Parent group, Simone Holdings, is reported to be in the process of acquiring automotive leather producer GST AutoLeather.


Swedish footwear brand Italgente, which offers high-end Italian handmade men’s shoes to discerning consumers in its home country, has won the the right to supply formal footwear to Sweden’s national football team for the 2016 European Championship.

Italgente will supply each member of the Sweden squad with a pair of its Venezia Caffe Oxfords, which the players will wear with suits for formal occasions at the competition. France is hosting the championship, which kicks off on June 9. Sweden’s first match is against the Republic of Ireland in Paris on June 13.

To celebrate the occasion, Italgente ran two special trunk shows in Malmö and Stockholm at the end of May and was able to offer its customers the chance to win tickets for two of Sweden’s warm-up matches. This is the second time the brand has won the right to supply the national team: it also provided formal shoes for the squad at the 2012 European Championship in Poland and Ukraine.

All of Italgente’s shoes are handmade in Montegranaro in Italy’s most famous footwear-making region, Le Marche. The Venezia model uses calf leather, which Italgente sources from either the Tannerie d’Annonay in France or from Ilcea in Italy.


Luxury group Hermès has defended its use of ostrich leather following a publicity stunt at its annual general meeting by a campaign group.

At the the event in Paris on May 31, a representative of an animal rights group spoke about a video showing poor treatment of young ostriches on a farm in South Africa and said the facility supplies exclusively to Hermès. She told French media she had bought one share in the luxury group to allow her to attend the meeting and make this intervention.

In response, Hermès chief executive, Axel Dumas, said: “Let’s stick to the facts. We take full responsibility for the partnerships we have in place with the farms from which we source, but Hermès does not have an exclusive provider of ostrich. We want them to apply best practice and we insist that all of our partners respect not just international regulations, but Hermès regulations, which are much stricter.”

The video in question was uploaded to the internet earlier this year. At that time, Hermès issued a statement explaining that the farm that features does not belong to the luxury group. It said it sources its ostrich leather not from farms but from tanneries. Furthermore, it said these tanneries, “like all of our suppliers” are subject to “careful, permanent checks”.


Founded three years ago, after the Rana Plaza garment factory collapsed in Bangladesh killing over 1,100 people on April 24, the Fashion Revolution movement has launched the Fashion Transparency Index in collaboration with Ethical Consumer.

Launched on April 18 to mark the start of Fashion Revolution Week (April 18-24), the first edition includes 40 of the biggest global fashion brands and ranks companies according to the level of transparency in their supply chain. The aim is further transparency, greater consumer and regulatory accountability in the supply chain.

The average score for the 40 brands surveyed by Fashion Revolution is 42% out of 100. Levi Strauss & Co ranks number one with 77%, while luxury brand Chanel holds the last place in the ranking, with 10%, and closely followed by Forever 21, Claire’s Accessories, Hermès, Louis Vuitton and Prada. “This sends a strong signal that luxury brands in particular have much more work to do”, said the movement in a statement.

“Lack of transparency costs lives. It is impossible for companies to make sure human rights are respected and that environmental practices are sound without knowing where their products are made, who is making them and under what conditions. When companies are working in a transparent way, this also implies openness, communication and accountability across the supply chain and with the public”, said Carry Somers, Co-Founder, Fashion Revolution.

Over 80 countries now participate in the movement which takes place on April 24 of each year. The #whomademyclothes hashtag has become widely used on various social media platforms.



Quality, practicality and price – these were the features of products produced by domestic tanners and shoemakers that drew the attention of participants of the 5th international exhibition "Shoesstar" in the Kazakh city of Almaty.

About 20 companies operating in the structure of the Association «Uzbekcharmpoyabzali» represented Uzbekistan at this event. It is worth noting that our entrepreneurs have prepared for this event thoroughly. The exposition of Uzbekistan presented a wide range of shoes, ranging from strict classical to easy home. At that, a presentation was prepared to acquaint the specialists of the sphere with the production and export potential of leather and footwear enterprises of Uzbekistan.

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Cutting technology provider Lectra has said that leather car-seat and automotive interior producers are ordering “such high volumes from tanners” that traditional die-cutting systems are “no longer able to keep pace”.

In its newly published annual report for 2015, Lectra said it had taken note of the high-end vehicle market witnessing the strongest growth in the automotive industry. This is significant because high-end vehicles tend to use more leather than regular ones.

Tanners need to transform their production processes and to make “significant productivity gains”, the technology provider said in the report. It added: “Leading tanners need solutions that are more flexible, improve hide use and accelerate time to market.”

In recent comments, Lectra chief executive, Daniel Harari, said the company intends to invest more in developing advanced cutting solutions specifically for leather as part of its latest research and development plan.

He said he believes Lectra is “beginning, after 15 years, to understand leather” and beginning to see the next level of challenges that its customers’ leather-cutting requirements can present. “Our whole idea is to bring intelligence to the cutting room,” the company’s chief executive said.


China’s leather-sector exports had a value of $86.1 billion in 2015, a decline of 3.1% year on year. Exports of all types of footwear for the year reached almost 9.9 billion pairs with a value of $51.1 billion, figures that represent falls of 8.1% and 5.1% respectively compared to 2014.

Commenting on these figures, the president of the China Leather Industry Association (CLIA), Su Chaoying, said that although exports were declining, growth in the country’s domestic market was going some way towards compensating.

In answer to a question from World Leather at a media conference on March 31, Mr Su said: “Growth continues, even if at a slower rate than in previous years.” He said CLIA had calculated that the more than 8,000 large producers of leather and finished leather products in China, those turning over at least $3 million per year, had increased their sales by 6.1% in 2015, although he did not give a total sales figure.

“In cities, Chinese consumers are buying, on average, 3.7 pairs of shoes per year each, while in the countryside it’s 1.7 pairs,” Mr Su continued. “Some people still like to buy things overseas but we expect a series of positive new policies from the government, including the lowering of sales tax, to encourage people to buy more in China.”


Tanzania leather industry faces bleak future as global commodity price slump lowered demand for value added leather products from major importers.

Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT), Executive Secretary, Mr Joram Wakari, said in Dar es Salaam yesterday that leather exports have dropped to less than 5 per cent forcing some players to close down their businesses.

"The situation is worse as very little is being exported due to fall of demand from the most importing countries including China and Pakistan thus leaving most godowns full of packed semi processed leather products," he said.

For example, one leather factory in Shinyanga has closed down operations due to falling demand for semi processed leather products. The situation has not impacted only Tanzania, but also Kenya, Ethiopia and Brazil. He said most business people in the leather industry were frustrated and had incurred heavy losses since when the situation started to surface on the last quarter last year. The governments will also lose substantial revenues from the leather industry.

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The Zero Discharge of Hazardous Chemicals (ZDHC) Programme will be delivering a new online portal, The ZDHC Chemical Registry, as the next step in its path towards eliminating key chemicals in the global footwear and textile value-chain.

The Chemical Registry will be up and running as from August 2016 and is to include a comprehensive list of chemical products as well as a MRSL conformance assessment for each. It will map products against existing chemical accreditation such as bluesign, GOTS or OEKO-Tex STeP, and provide manufacturers with documentation to determine the level that a chemical product conforms to the ZDHC MRSL.

The data portal draws from experience learned during an extensive pilot conducted in 2015 across China, Taiwan, Pakistan, Scotland and Sri Lanka on behalf of the ZDHC Foundation by ADEC Innovations.

The ZDHC Programme represents 22 apparel and footwear brands leading the path towards eliminating key chemicals in the global value-chain. In 2015, the it released the Manufacturing Restricted Substances List (MRSL) Version 1.1, listing chemical substances banned from intentional use in facilities that process textile materials and trim parts in apparel and footwear including leather.

Earlier this month, the ZDHC Programme released its 2015 Annual Report highlighting its achievements and demonstrating how collaboration by industry leaders is driving new standards in responsible chemical management forward.


The Bangladesh Small and Cottage Industries Corporation (BSCIC) will recommend the government, if necessary, to extend the deadline by seven days for shifting tanneries to Savar Tannery Industrial Estate, reports news agency UNB. The government, earlier, urged the owners of tanneries to move to Savar by 31 March warning them of blocking their entry to Hazaribagh.

BSCIC chairman M Hazrat Ali on Sunday told reporters about the time extension plan for the relocation of the tanneries to Savar. All the infrastructure facilities have been made available at the Savar Tannery Industrial Estate, according to a BSCIC press statement.
Tannery owners can avail themselves of utility services electricity, gas and water supply - from the new Tannery Industrial Estate, it said. Installation of the Central Effluent Treatment Plant (CETP), Sewage Treatment Plant, Sludge Powder Generation System and Solid Waste Management System has already been completed in the new location. The BSCIC said shifting all the tanneries to Savar Industrial Estate is a must to make the CETP operational. It claimed that all the necessary supports have been extended to the tanners for their relocation to Savar.

Even, Tk 60 crore from the approved Tk 250 crore, have been given to the owners as compensation, the BSCIC chairman said. The rest of the compensation amount will be given in light of prescribed policy if the owners fulfill the conditions, he added.

The BSCIC chairman said they will provide all necessary supports after making their tannery units operational in the Savar Industrial Estate. Earlier at a function in the city on Sunday, industries minister Amir Hossain Amu said the leather industries must be shifted to their new location in Savar immediately. “We can’t allow leather industries to be there (at Hazaribahh) anymore, endangering the lives of crores of people. We can’t allow crores of people to die because of them,” he said. The minister was addressing the inaugural function of the 4th Nation SME Fair at Bangabandhu International Conference Centre in the city. Amu said the site in the new leather estate in Savar is fully ready to provide all kinds of facilities, like gas and electricity, to the tanneries. He harshly criticised some newspapers for siding with the leather industry owners. "These newspapers once were against the leather industries, as those are causing pollution to the Buriganga river. But now what has happened to them! They’re now highlighting that rawhides are getting perished!” he asked. Amu said these tanneries have been contaminating the Buriganga river for decades. "Millions of people have been the victims of this industrial pollution, but these newspapers had never showed the pictures of these victims," he said.


TANZANIA is poised to become a leader in manufacturing of leather products if more investments are directed to the huge untapped potential in the sector.

According to the Leather Association of Tanzania (LAT), Executive Secretary, Mr Joram Wakari, Tanzania currently use only a fraction of its potential in leather industry while spending substantial amount of its scarce foreign exchange to import footwear and other leather materials from abroad.

“The country spends substantial amount of its scarce foreign exchange to import around 50 million shoes annually.

Other imports on leather products being bags and handbags, wallets and belts that can be made locally using the available raw hides and skins,” he said in an interview in Dar es Salaam.

He said statistics show that Tanzania is second in Africa after Ethiopia with highest livestock population of more 22 million cattle, 16 million goats and seven million sheep. Ethiopia is the leading producer and exporter of leather products in Africa.

He said despite its abundant raw materials, Tanzania continue to be the largest importer of leather products with only a fraction being manufactured locally. He said however, the association is optimistic with the fifth government industrialization drive that put the sector among the top priorities to increase its contribution to the economy and poverty alleviation.
“The country’s export earnings from semi processed leather materials are disproportionate with the substantial amount of foreign exchange spent in importing shoes, mostly low quality plastic made which are healthy and environmentally hazardous,” he said.

Furthermore, he said concerted efforts should be put in place to curb smuggling which is taking from the country over 50 per cent of the raw hides and skins produced in the country thus creating shortage to local manufacturers.

Presently, the local manufacturers can make less than one million footwear annually. He said the sector offers huge potentials for local investors to develop the present small scale leather factories as well as establishing the new ones.


The importation of secondhand clothes will continue for some time despite calls from East African Legislative Assembly (Eala)and textiles industry players to have the imports banned almost immediately.

In a discussion with the Eala members on a range of topics, including updates on textile and leather industry, Trade minister Amelia Kyambadde said secondhand cloth business is here to stay for a while because of the demand it commands.

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Mr. Shoko, from ZLDC at APLF 2016

Manufacturing of quality leather and leather goods is deeply anchored in the history of Zimbabwe and the sector has been identified as having enormous potential to contribute to the economy of the country and become a social and developmental driver.

“The leather industry is labor intensive and generates employment for the active population,” explained Clement Shoko, Chairman of the Zimbabwe Leather Development Council (ZLDC), talking from the organisation’s booth at the MM&T exhibition that was held in Hong Kong from 30 March to 1 April 2016.    Read More ...



17th Ordinary Summit of the East African Community (EAC) Heads of State directed to consider the banning of the export of raw hides and skins outside the Region.

The Summit also directed the Partner States to procure their textile and footwear requirements from within the region where quality and supply capacities are available competitively, with a view to phasing out importation of used textile and foot wear within three years. Read More


Polymer producer Bayer MaterialSciences has developed a new system for the manufacture of polyurethane-coated fabrics saying that it will allow manufacturers of synthetic materials to clean up their production. The company has acknowledged that these synthetic substitutes, whose makers and sellers often specifically target the leather market, have one of the worst track-records among all types of coated fabric for causing health and environmental problems.

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The head of the American Apparel and Footwear Association (AAFA) on August 4, 2014  renewed calls for swift action to renew the expiring African Growth and Opportunity Act (AGOA). In a letter sent on August 4, 2014  to President Barack Obama on the eve of a historic African leaders summit, AAFA president and CEO Juanita D. Duggan urged the President to support renewal along four key principles.

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The global luggage and leather goods industry is expected to grow at a CAGR of 4.5% during 2014-2019. The major drivers of the luggage and leather goods industry are per capita income, increasing consumer affluence, growth in the travel industry, and product innovation. Changing fashion trends and the awareness of luxury products, upgraded designs, and the global economic growth will possibly also boost the luggage and leather goods industry.

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The formal opening of a new Common Facility Centre (CFC) for the leather industry in Jalandhar, Punjab took place on September 11. The CFC Jalandhar was formally inaugurated by Madan Mohan Mittal, Minister for Industry and Commerce, Technical Education & Industrial Training, Government of Punjab in the presence of senior leather industry representatives.

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To see a different face of Bangladesh manufacturing, a country that has earned notoriety with its ready-made garment plants, one drives 25 miles north of Dhaka city to Gazipur district. Amid a predominantly industrial enclave of garment makers is a 24-acre site where 5,500 workers, mostly women, are busy stitching not clothes but a range of stylish leather shoes. Read More ...

Two of the biggest tanners in the Arzignano cluster in northern Italy have formally launched a pilot project for making leather production more environmentally friendly. The tanners, Gruppo Dani and  Gruppo Mastrotto, are working on the pilot project with three technical partners: chemical supplier Ikem, biotechnology firm Ilsa and the cluster’s wastewater treatment service provider, Acque del Chiampo. Read More ...

MVO Nederland and various Dutch companies from the leather industry, including Stahl, have entered into a partnership to support tanneries in Mongolia with making their production process sustainable. These companies are going to assist in setting up a sustainable tannery in Mongolia, as well as the production locations for shoes, bags and clothes. This was announced by the companies involved during a congress for the Dutch leather sector, held under the theme of sustainable leather production. Read More

CONTRIBUTION of leather industry to the economy is set to grow following an introduction of e-learning in footwear pattern engineering to Small and Medium Enterprises (SMEs), institutions and organisations by the Dar es Salaam Institute of Technology (DIT).

The patterns of skills required to be employed in modern leather products manufacturing are continuously changing, as well as the institutional structures around them, thus calling for flexible specialised high-level training. Read More

India International Leather Fair – Delhi 2014 will be held from 3rd to 5th July, 2014 at Pragati Maidan, New Delhi. It will have on display the entire range of products relating to leather industry from raw material to finished products and auxiliary products, such as finished leather, footwear, shoe components like uppers, soles, heels, counters, lasts; machinery and equipment, process technology, software, chemicals and publications.  Read More

Pakistan Tanners Association's (PTA) Chairman Fawad Jawed said here on Tuesday that a small support from the Ministry of Commerce could help boost leather products' export to $3 billion in the next three years, making the industry second biggest after textile. He said that contrary to the huge potential of leather products, exports of the leather industry had remained stagnant at $1.22 billion for the last six years. Read More

With the intention of increasing exports and stimulate growth of the Brazilian leather sector, the Association of Leather Artifacts and Travel Articles Manufacturers (ABIACAV), has launched a new brand under which all leather artifacts, especially leather handbags and travel accessories, from the country would be identified, titled ‘Brazil by Bags’.

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The Yokohama-based Japanese leather factory Hiroki has announced a long-term plan to produce leather products in Ethiopia. Hiroki will be the first Japanese company to operate in Ethiopia, opening its manufacturing plant in the capital Addis Ababa as part of its 13-year operational plan. "We have been a major market for Ethiopia's sheep leather for many years and now we have come up with an idea to begin manufacturing here," Youngil Song, general manger of Hiroki Addis, told The Reporter.

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Published:  24 December, 2013

The Ethiopian House of Peoples' Representatives passed the revised Raw Hides, Skins & Hides Marketing Proclamation during its ninth regular session, The Reporter reported.

 The law is said to streamline raw hides and skins trading process and strengthen the care accorded to hides and skins.

According to the proclamation, the law is aimed at to target the existing challenges in the supply and quality of leather and hide, and expanding a modern and fair trade system.

The revised law will limit the number of people involved in the marketing process with no contribution to the supply chain, to reduce prices.

The government has stepped up measures to curtail the exportation of raw hides by introducing a US$0.75 export tax on every kilogram of raw hide in a move that is expected to boost value addition in the leather industry.

During the past 10 years, the leather sector has been failing to absorb all raw hides and skins that are produced leading to more hides being exported from Zimbabwe in their raw form.

In 2011 alone, a total of 5,440 tonnes of raw hide including crocodile skins worth US$28 million were exported. During the same year, a total of 2.2 million pairs of foot wear were produced while four million pairs of mainly cheap synthetic shoes were imported, essentially making Zimbabwe net importer of footwear.

Minister of Finance and Economic Development Patrick Chinamasa during the presentation of the 2014 National Budget last week said the introduction of export tax would help revive the sector, which was operating at less than 50% capacity."The leather industry currently operates at capacity levels of between 25-40% due to inadequate raw material supply, since leather merchants prefer to export the hides in raw form. I propose to levy an export tax of US$0.75 per kg on raw hides, in order to encourage value addition," he said.

This move by Government is expected to support the Zimbabwe Leather Sector Development Strategy, which was launched in June and expected to make the country's leather sector a vibrant and internationally competitive industry.

The strategy seeks to improve the leather sector in Zimbabwe and generate US$116 million in revenue by 2017 compared to US$82 million in 2011 at current sales and margins by 2017.
The main objective of the strategy is to transform the Zimbabwe leather value chain from the production and export of raw materials and semi processed products to the production and export of value added products such as finished leather footwear and other garments. In October, Industry and Commerce Minister Mike Bimha said Government would adopt a cluster approach to value addition in the manufacturing industry in an effort to revive the areas that have been most affected by the demise of the sector."The sectors that have been prioritised include Leather and Allied products, Clothing and Textiles and Pharmaceuticals manufacturing," he said.


The footwear industry is expected to reach a record export value of more than US$8 billion this year, according to the Ministry of Industry and Trade.
Footwear exports reached $7.9 billion as of the middle of December, a rise of nearly 15% against the corresponding period last year, according to the General Department of Customs.

A representative from the Vietnam Leather and Footwear Association said local tanneries had met only 20-30% of material demand of local shoemakers.
To get good quality materials, shoemakers have to import leather from Brazil, Italy and the US at high prices.

According to the ministry, Vietnam imports 6 million sq m of tanned leather every year. Last year, imports amounted to more than $3 billion. Many footwear importers are shifting their orders from China to Vietnam because of lower labour costs and preferential tariffs that will be granted this year by the EU. The tariff will drop to 3-4% from the current 13-14%, according to the ministry.

Of the total amount of footwear exports, the US accounted for the largest source of export revenue, followed by the UK, Belgium, Germany and Japan, the Netherlands, China, Brazil and Spain.

Last year, Vietnam’s footwear exports reached $7.2 billion. The footwear industry, however, still depends on material imports as it does not have enough local supplies.

Experts said the footwear industry would benefit when Vietnam joins the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) Agreement. But to receive the full benefits, the industry must use local materials or imported materials from TPP members to enjoy zero tariffs. Experts also urged domestic companies to make more efforts to improve quality and productivity. As the global economy has yet to recover, key markets for Vietnamese footwear have slumped, and, as a result, companies must plan accordingly.

This is vital because foreign-direct investment companies have contributed more than 76% of the industry’s total export value. Currently, around 1,100 companies are involved in footwear production in the country, employing 720,000 workers. In addition, there are thousands of individual producers and handicraft villages that take part in export activities. With this capacity, the Vietnamese footwear industry is expected to meet increasing export demand.

Source: FDRA as cited by

Four tanneries operating in and around Mali’s capital city, Bamako, say a government decision to disconnect them from a common effluent treatment plant is unfair. The four companies at the centre of the controversy are West Africa, IMAT, Tamak and Nouvelle Tannerie du Mali.

The tanneries learned of the decision earlier in November 2013, with the authorities claiming that the leather producers were doing too little to carry out primary effluent treatment before sending waste water to the common plant. The common effluent treatment plant, which is in Sotuba, processes effluent from more than 30 industrial facilities in the Bamako region. The tanneries had their access to the plant cut off on November 4, 2013 and have been unable to operate since.

But at a press conference on November 15, representatives of the leather industry in the African country said the decision was completely arbitrary and unfair. Ahmed Diadié Ascofaré, who runs one of the tanneries affected, said he would prefer a return to the way of working before the common effluent treatment plant was in place, with each company taking complete responsibility for its own waste management. He said the common effluent treatment plant was incapable of carrying out effective treatment of the waste.

At the same press conference, the president of the local tanning industry association, Hamidou Traoré, said 400 jobs were directly under threat from the government’s action, with a further 1,000 jobs indirectly dependent on the four tanneries.

In addition, Mr Traoré said 700,000 people in Mali make a living from activities related to the collection of hides and skins, with Bamako’s four tanneries alone processing between 10,000 and 12,000 hides and skins every day. He said Mali is currently able to export around 6 million processed hides and skins each year, bringing more than $50 million into the economy. He called on the government to allow the capital’s tanneries to start production again as soon as possible. “Each day of this imposed closure is costing Mali money,” he said.

He said the decision had come at the worst possible time because a large amount of raw material had been collected following the Eid al-Adha festival, which fell in October this year, and was now awaiting processing. Mr Traoré said his organization would go to court to have the government decision overturned.

Italian leather chemicals manufacturer Silvateam will have an innovative hybrid tannage idea on display at the India International Leather Fair in Chennai, February 1-3.

The new system uses a combination of chrome salts and Blancotan CAT, a new syntan based on dihydroxydiphenyl, a sulphone condensation product with cationic charge.

Blancotan CAT can be used alone on pickled hides as a pretanning agent to produce a wide range of chrome-free leather articles with what Silvateam describes as “a user-friendly process”. Alternatively it can be used with conventional chromium salts in any proportion to obtain low-chrome tannages with high exhaustion floats.

The Common Market for Eastern and Southern Africa (COMESA) Leather and Leather Products Institute (LLPI) has urged its member states including Zimbabwe to implement strategies to improve the capacity utilization of their leather industries and product quality so as to satisfy the existing 270 million shoes market deficit in the trading bloc.

COMESA/LLPI director Dr Mwinyikione Mwinyihija said Africa played an integral role in the leather industry in the world through the provision of 21 percent of the global livestock and 14 percent of the total hides and skins but said the continent was not benefiting much from its resources owing to failure to add value to its products.

He said this after the graduation of 45 Small to Medium Enterprises shoe manufacturers in Bulawayo in November, 2013. The students underwent a two-week course in leather production funded by COMESA/  LLPI.

After the graduation ceremony Dr Mwinyihija and the chairman of the Leather Institute of Zimbabwe, Mr Nicoh Mpofu, signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) on behalf of the two parties (LLPI and LIZ). “Africa is the home of hides and skins because it has a total of 21 percent of the total livestock production in the whole world and it supplies 14 percent of the total hides and skins to the world.

“However, the biggest bottleneck that we have in Africa is translation of the resources we are producing to value. Out of the 14 percent we are producing in this world 3.32 percent is actualized as value meaning we are losing almost 11 percent,” Dr Mwinyihija said.

He said the foreign currency earned through leather export would have gone a long way in ensuring rural development programmes and employment creation. Dr Mwinyihija said Comesa LLPI was working towards ensuring the quality of leather of its 19-member state improves.

“The potential is very high because we have to fast recover the 11 percent that is lost within the supply chain and build at the national level the capacity that the hides and skins can be produced to a level where the leather products can actually sustain the economic enterprises,” he said.

Dr Mwinyihija said shoe manufacturers including Small to Medium Enterprises (SMEs) should strive to enhance their production so as to meet the estimated demand of one billion pairs of shoes by 2015 to 2016.

“In Comesa 400 million people wear shoes meaning the shoe per capita is around 0.85, which translate to 85 percent with 320 million pairs of shoes being demanded per year. We import about 80 million pairs of shoes a year meaning the deficit is 240 million pairs of shoes.

“Our local (COMESA) manufacturers only produce about 70 to 100 million pairs of shoes per year of which we have to encourage our SMEs to up their production and quality as we have a ready market. By 2015 to 2016 the whole of Africa will need over one billion pairs of shoes per year,” he said.

Dr Mwinyihija said Zimbabwe was in track of ensuring the revival of its leather industry following the formulation of a leather sector strategy, which is, however, yet to be implemented.

Mr Mpofu said the country’s leather industry was lagging behind compared to countries such as Ethiopia and Uganda due to a lack of policies that promote importation of value-added products. He, however, said the standard of shoes and leather products manufactured by the country’s SMEs was good but the quality of leather was impacting negatively on their finished products.

“The standards (of our SMEs) are very good. Even the director of COMESA also acknowledged that it is the best that he has seen in his tour of the various countries. We are in the right track all we need is to improve on the quality of leather.

“The signing of the MoU sets the stages that will have to be followed in the strategy and we are in line with Zimbabwe Agenda for Sustainable Socio-Economic Transformation where it is talking about SMEs in clusters and this is exactly what we are doing,” Mr Mpofu said.

The permanent secretary in the Ministry of Small to Medium Enterprises and Cooperative Development Mrs Evelyn Ndlovu  said the Government was in the process of according SMEs improved infrastructure to work from in line with the SMEs Infrastructural Development policy which came into effect in 2011.

Source: Dumisani Nsingo Senior Business Reporter ,

First it was a scramble for the highest-quality leather. Then it was all about securing adequate supplies of crocodile skin. Now, competition in the high-end luxury sector has turned to the ethical sourcing of snake skin.
Kering, the French luxury group formerly known as PPR, said it was creating the Python Conservation Partnership with the aim of “contributing to the improved sustainability of the python trade”.

The alliance, which brings the owner of Gucci together with non-governmental organizations and the International Trade Centre, a joint agency of the World Trade Organization and the UN, involves a three-year research programme looking at sustainability and animal welfare in the python trade.
Luxury groups such as Kering are using increasing amounts of python skin as they seek to protect softening growth rates – in part by driving their products up market where they can command higher price tags.

A Gucci handbag made from python skin retails for at least €2,000 compared with the much cheaper canvas material. But Marie-Claire Daveu, Kering’s chief sustainability officer, says there is a problem of sourcing. “At the international level, we don’t have a methodology shared by all the actors in the python trade to assess the sustainability [of the business],” she told the FT.

One of the problems, she says, is the difficulty in knowing whether the python skins come from captivity or from the wild. Another was ensuring the livelihoods of the families, mainly from Southeast Asia, who work in the trade.

The three-year research programme will focus on five core areas, including monitoring wild capture to improve sustainable sourcing; developing technology to differentiate between captive-bred and wild animals; improving methods for captive breeding; and understanding the impact on families involved in the trade.
Kering said the data and findings of the study would contribute to the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species of Wild Fauna and Flora (Cites), an international treaty to protect endangered animals and plants.

The initiative follows a scramble by France’s leading luxury groups to secure adequate supplies of exotic and other quality leather to meet rising demand for top-dollar handbags.

Hermès, LVMH and Kering have rushed to buy crocodile farms and tanneries in recent years. In March, PPR, as Kering was then known, bought France Croco, a French tannery that sources and processes crocodile skins.

In the past year or so, meanwhile, Hermès has bought crocodile farms in Cairns, Australia and in Louisiana in the US. The luxury goods company, famous for its Birkin and Kelly bags, says it takes up to three crocodiles to make one bag.

But Ms Daveu of Kering said that the python project was only about the ethical and sustainable aspects of the python-skin trade. “It is a commitment on the sustainability side,” she said.

The Commercial Bank of Ethiopia awarded different prizes that encompassed Certificates, silver plates, and trophies for its 152 customers who earned more than USD one million in 2013. Ninety three of the exporters earned more than USD one million while the rest made between USD 5 million to more than USD 100 million. Coffee, leather, oil seed and gold exporters were among the top performers. In the leather category, Mojdo Tannery and Hugian Shoe Factory were the ones awarded for their remarkable performance at a time when there was a stiff global competition.

The representative body of the leather industry in the European Union (EU), COTANCE, has launched a new initiative to promote the leather and tanning sector as an attractive career choice for young people and jobseekers.

At a meeting in Brussels on December 13, COTANCE announced the new project, called Leather is My Job. It will work jointly on the idea with trade union organisation industriAll; together they refer to themselves as the sectors “social partners”. The initiative has the support of the European Commission.

For many companies in Europe’s tanning sector it has become increasingly difficult to recruit qualified people, in spite of a high level of unemployment, COTANCE has said. The leather industry believes, however, that there is an increasing interest among young people in craftsmanship and design, manual work with authentic natural materials, and in more environmentally friendly industries. “The tanning industry offers all that; it recovers and recycles waste from the meat industry and transforms it into leather, one of the world’s most prestigious and highly sought after materials,” COTANCE said following the Brussels meeting.

Leather is My Job will aim to use this increase in interest to improve the tanning industry’s image in the eyes of jobseekers. It will involve representatives of the two social partners in seven EU member states: the UK, Germany, France, Spain, Portugal, Romania and Bulgaria. Italy has opted not to take part, but will host an event to evaluate progress towards the end of the project. Participants will share information and experience in an effort to identify best practice and improve the way the European tanning sector presents itself as a source of jobs and as a good industry to work in.

Following the Brussels meeting, COTANCE told leatherbiz that it wanted to look separately at the way tanners recruit in eastern and western Europe. It said it wanted to assess whether there is an east-west divide in the sector’s labour market, or differences in employment and training policies.

COTANCE wants tanners in the seven member states to contribute directly by submitting material that shows them to be modern employers. Specifically, the organisation suggested that tanners send to Brussels testimonials from tannery workers, including photographs of them in the workplace to show the variety of jobs available in tanneries. COTANCE said it would be interested to hear from tannery workers about how they ended up in the industry and what they most like about their jobs.

Colombia’s president, Juan Manuel Santos Calderón, has said a government study into the leather industry will lead to restrictions on the amount of raw material and wet blue that will be available for export.

Local media have suggested that a maximum of 12,000 tonnes of raw hides and skins per month will be allowed to leave the country and a maximum of 27,000 tonnes of wet blue. The study put Colombia’s total output at 48,000 tonnes of leather and hides (estimated at 160,000 pieces) per month.

Colombia’s most prominent finished leather goods manufacturer, Mario Hernández, who has previously criticised the lack of local raw material available to manufacturers, welcomed the news. “We’ve been waiting for action of this kind for more than 20 years,” he said. “Now it’s time for everyone in the industry to stop complaining and work hard to compete by making high-quality products.”


The end of 2013 brought a historical number to the Brazilian leather industry: US$ 2,508 billion. That is the total value of leather and skins exports throughout the year, an all time record. The value exceeds in 20,7% the accumulated number of the previous year, according to analysis from the Department of Intelligence of the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industries (CICB), and with preliminary data from the Department of Foreign Trade – Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC).

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