COTANCE calls on the European Commission to look into the worsening of the market conditions for EU Tanners’ hides & skins supplies and access to finance
The COTANCE Council met on February 18, 2013 in Brussels under the chairmanship of President Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group, IT). The review of the state of trade in Europe’s leather industry reveals some positive features in certain sub-sectors such as top fashion and automotive while others are still struggling with the reduction in the overall demand for leather, such as furniture. The most recurrent complaint among all delegates was the worsening of the market conditions for the supply of the industry’s raw materials and the consequent price peaks in certain types of hides and skins. Paradoxically, calfskins have become more expensive than meat.
European Tanners regret the lack of action of European authorities in addressing the adverse economic effects of the progressing critical shortage of raw materials on open markets that drive prices to unsustainable levels. The shortage of raw materials on the European market is due to export restrictions set up by major producing third countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, India or Pakistan, and the exponential increase in the exports of EU hides and skins resources to competitors. The issue is well known to European authorities as it has been evidenced and documented in the relevant DG Trade Leather sector Market Access Committee. The recent Commission Staff Working Document on POLICY OPTIONS FOR THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE EUROPEAN FASHION INDUSTRIES — ‘WHERE MANUFACTURING MEETS CREATIVITY’ (SWD(2012) 284 final/2) adopted on October 5, 2012 says: “… Today, more than ever, global competition for raw materials is increasing. … Prices of hides and skins are at their highest level in nearly a decade, with demand greatly exceeding the shrinking supply. ... Consequently, action at EU level will be developed to secure undistorted access at fair prices to the raw materials the fashion industries need. …
The COTANCE Presidency meets Industry Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani
On July 30, 2012, Industry Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani received in Brussels the recently elected COTANCE President Rino Mastrotto. President Mastrotto headed a small delegation composed by COTANCE Vice-Presidents Muirhead, Roselló and Mercogliano as well as COTANCE Secretary General Gonzalez-Quijano.
This encounter between the governing body of the European Leather Industry and the Member of the European Commission in charge of Industrial Policy served to underscore the leadership of European leather producers, notably in key areas of sustainable development, as well as their crucial role in technical, fashion and luxury value chains. With a turnover of some 8 billion Euro, a positive trade balance, worldwide best environmental practice and social accountability standards, European leather is a key player at global scale and in global value chains, representing some 15-17% of global leather trade in value.
Vice-President Tajani is to present later this year a Communication on Industrial Policy outlining the policy objectives and initiatives that aim at strengthening the competitiveness of European industry. The European Commission is also to address aspects of the customs union and the internal market, and enter into further Free Trade negotiations with third countries.
COTANCE launches its Permanent Leather Promotion Campaign
That’s Life, That’s Leather!
After offering in Shanghai the licensing of its Campaign material free of charge in the newly established Executive Committee of ICT, COTANCE decided, in its Bucharest Council meeting of September 26, 2012, the institution of a Permanent Leather Promotion Campaign under the slogan “That’s Life, That’s Leather!”.
Created in 2004, the COTANCE Campaign “That’s Life, That’s Leather!” proved that effective communication to the general public on leather does not need to be prohibitively costly and that even less wealthy leather trade associations can possibly sustain effective activities in one of their core competences: the defence and promotion of leather.
The 2004 Campaign was developed as a “postcard-exercise” where images of the omnipresence of leather in our lives testify to the usefulness of the material and the emotions that it engenders in people. The permanent COTANCE Campaign now launched in Bucharest intends to build on the success of the past and to develop a combination of traditional and internet based communication tools.
Leather trade associations can join the Campaign by subscribing a simple licence agreement and possibly a voluntary financial contribution.
COTANCE invites leather sector operators to sponsor this initiative.
COTANCE welcomes the results of the UNIDO Leather Panel Meeting in Shanghai on Eco-Footprinting of Leather
At its Autumn Council meeting held in Bucharest on 26 September 2012, COTANCE delegates from Italy (UNIC), Spain (ACEXPIEL), France (FFTM), Germany (VDL), United Kingdom (UKLF), Netherlands (FNL), Sweden (SG) and Romania (APPBR) expressed their satisfaction on the results of the debate on Eco-Footprinting of Leather at the Shanghai UNIDO Leather Panel meeting of last 3 and 4 of September.
UNIDO Leather Panel members made up from renowned experts in the sector reviewed a Technical Report presented at an advanced state of completion providing the methodological key for sustaining the Leather sector’s claim to exclude from the LCA system boundaries of the leather value chain the burden of the livestock industry. The methodology is called “System expansion” and was developed in Denmark in the late 1990s for addressing the case of natural resources generating by-products and co-products.
The experts in Shanghai expressed clearly their view that the system boundaries of the leather value chain start at the slaughterhouse with the generation of the hide or skin as a by-product free from the environmental burden of meat and milk production, the actual drivers of their production.
LVMH Press release
LVMH takes control of Tanneries Roux
Tanneries Roux, created in 1803, produce high quality leather and for 20 years, in a partnership spirit, have supplied Brands such as Louis Vuitton, Loewe, Dior, Céline or Moynat. Indeed, the tannery has developed calf leather with a soft touch and high flexibility adapted to the most exceptional leathergoods. The tannery has a work force of over 120 employees and is located in the Drôme, a labour area known for its leather work.
Mr Jean-Claude Ricomard will remain the Chairman of the company and will be in charge of pursuing the strategy that allowed the Tanneries to develop for many years.The purchase follows the group strategy to valorize its savoir-faire upstream, as already illustrated in creating the Comète tanneries in 2009 or the more recent acquisition of the Heng Long crocodile tannery in 2011.
Jean-Claude Ricomard’s Press Release
“The fact that the number 1 brand of deluxe leather articles, a major French industrial group, showed interest in our company is a wonderful recognition for all those who have sustained this enterprise with a creative and innovative work force since 1803. Our “raison d’être” has not been modified, we will stay at the service of all world actors in the luxury business.”