Edinburgh Assembly General unanimously elects Jonathan Muirhead as new COTANCE President
The 2014 COTANCE General Meeting took place in Edinburgh on June 20 hosted by the UK Leather Federation. 26 delegates from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Portugal, Netherlands, Sweden and Romania were in attendance. The encounter took place in the city’s prestigious George Hotel followed by a Gala Dinner in the Royal Castle and concluding in a sumptuous frame two days of intense work and debates on the outlook for the European Leather industry. Indeed, next to the Assembly General, COTANCE also organised the mid-term social dialogue project meeting of the “Leather is my Job!” operation supported by the European Commission, and the kick-off meeting of the EU Pilot on Leather focussed on the development of the Product Category Rules for the Environmental Footprint of Leather.
The most important point on the GA meeting agenda was the renewal of the COTANCE Presidency, as the 2-year mandate of President Rino Mastrotto (UNIC, Rino Mastrotto Group) had come to an end. Vice-President Jonathan Muirhead (UKLF, Scottish Leather Group) was unanimously elected to take over the leadership of COTANCE. He expressed his gratitude on behalf of all members for the time consented during his term in guiding COTANCE to improved levels of performance to the benefit of all tanners. In his speech COTANCE President Jonathan Muirhead assured Mr Mastrotto all his support in his mandate as ICT President, confident that this constellation will bring great benefits to tanners around the world.
At the same time Mr Jean Claude Ricomard (FFTM, France) was also elected Vice-President while Mr Badía (ACEXPIEL, Spain) left the COTANCE Presidency after Spain having completed the presidential cycle.
The open session of the COTANCE Meeting welcomed as keynote speaker Jean François Aguinaga, Head of the European Commission Unit in charge of the leather industry in the Directorate General for Enterprises and Industry. He commented the current economic momentum, illustrated the challenges and opportunities ahead and acknowledged the sound and timely initiatives taken by COTANCE notably in the area of the sector’s education and training, environmental footprinting and leather authenticity labelling. These are all in the core of EU Industry Commissioner Tajani’s objectives for an Industrial Renaissance in Europe and more concretely in the related Action Plan for the Fashion and High-End industries.
Over 100 guests from 11 countries were convened for the festive Gala Dinner in Edinburgh Castle celebrated with the support of the sector’s most renowned institutions and stakeholders and developed with the care and detail of best Scottish hospitality and tradition. In his speech of welcome to the guests, the new President thanked the following organisations for their valuable contribution in support of the General Assembly and Gala Dinner: The Leathersellers Company, The British Leather Industry Development Trust, Scottish Leather Group, BASF, Monarch Chemicals, Stahl, TFL and Trumpler.
The Assembly General of the Fédération Française de la Tannerie Mégisserie met on 13 June et elected the 10 member of its new administration board for a period of 3 years. The mandate of President Bertrand Sauve was unanimously renewed.
A press release (in French) can be found here: http://www.lemondeducuir.org/presse/communiques
Europe’s Social Partners meet in Edinburgh to review progress in their “Leather is my job!” initiative
The Scottish city of Edinburgh hosted the Mid-Term meeting of the “Leather is my job!” project developed by the Social Partners of the European Leather Industry with the support of the European Commission. The objective of this Social Dialogue initiative is to awake the appetite of people, in particular young people thinking about their professional careers, for the leather industry. By providing the testimonies of those already working in the industry and conveying the reasons for their career choice, both sides of the leather industry intend to break certain deeply rooted misconceptions about this profession that is offering good jobs.
This year the Carvalhos group celebrates its 75th anniversary of its foundation by António Nunes De Carvalho and simultaneously its most recent company Couro Azul celebrates its 25th anniversary.
For this celebration, on the 20th May, the Carvalhos group got together 600 people, including all its current and former employees, as well as, all the Carvalhos family members in the new expansion of Couro Azul Plant.
In this event, the Carvalhos group made a special tribute to its founder and to António Carvalho and Fernando Carvalho members of the 2nd generation. At this event some former collaborators were distinguished for their contribution to the company.
Integrated in these celebrations, the company promoted various cultural and sports events such as the creation of a Jazz band called the “Oak Band”, an amateur theater group to participate in the 100th anniversary of the township of Alcanena, as well as, a team who participated in the regional Nersant challenger games, which they won.
Order of Merit to Giancarlo Dani
The Italian President Giorgio Napolitano awarded on June 2nd the Order of Merit for Labour to Giancarlo Dani, an important recognition for the whole tanning sector.
Dani is President of Dani Group, whose tanneries are specialized in the production of leather for upholstery, automotive, footwear and leather goods. “It is a recognition not for me, but for the Dani family. We worked a lot, being able to create this important industrial reality”.
In favor of Dani Group weighted different circumstances, not least its ability to obtain brilliant results in a time of crisis in the Italian economy. Its growth, driven by the automotive division (making up 50% of turnover) and exports (about 70% of turnover), allowed Dani to double the production facilities and the number of employees, now 600, working in the two Italian premises and different trading subsidiaries abroad.
The other important aspect of its success, is the image of “green” company and environmentally sustainable production that the company has been able to project, through investments in technology and ad-hoc certifications. It managed to enter the top-100 Italian eco-friendly firms in 2012 (Green Italy Report), and introduced its trademark slogan “Sustainable leather, pure emotion”.
By his own account, Dani’s history is one of entrepreneurship, hard work, and respect for the environment, valuing business ethics, personal relations and constant dedication to improving the quality of their production. Thorough these accomplishments he aims at the promotion of the image of Arzignano district as a center of excellence recognized worldwide, and by working as a driving force for other companies, to show that in Italy it is still possible (on the backdrop of a difficult environment ndt) to conduct business successfully.