Industry organisations sign Memorandum of Understanding

26 January 2012

Key representatives of the three International organisations that operate within the leather sector – International Council of Tanners (ICT), International Council of Hide Skin & Leather Traders Associations (ICHSLTA) and International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS) – met during the Istanbul Leather Fair in January to continue discussions on global cooperation in the leather industry.

The Istanbul meeting followed initial contact during the ACLE in Shanghai last year and further progress was made during the World Leather Congress held in Rio de Janeiro last November. During the Rio meeting a Memorandum of Understanding was agreed. The MoU document outlines the need for cooperation within the leather industry and recognises some of the issues and challenges faced by the industry. It makes a general call for all in the leather value chain to work together to enhance the value of leather as a component material in the marketplace.

Participants in the Istanbul meeting laid out guidelines on how the three independent organisations plan to work together and progress was made outlining several projects of importance to the industry. These include a project on the identity of leather, with the first phase to collect and share national, regional, and international rules and regulations on definitions, labelling and marking of leather; as well as hides, skins and leather product certifications. Discussion was also held on the image of the industry and issues relating to sustainable processing. Further work is foreseen to continue defining some of these initiatives that will be developed on the basis of own resources. Participants did not exclude that certain activities could require the need of external resources, but participants were happy with the progress being made.

The next meeting of this newly formed global leather coordinating committee will be held on March 30, immediately following the APLF leather fair in Hong Kong.

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