Introducing the Taiwanese International Leather Association16 November 2009
The Taiwanese leather sector has a history of more than 60 years and today there are around 60 tanneries in the country. Since the 1990s, Taiwanese tanneries have started to relocate abroad, establishing their factories and investing in Thailand, Mainland China and Vietnam. Nowadays, there are more than 40 Taiwanese owned tanneries established in these countries. The production capacity of all Taiwanese tanneries is about 45-60 million square feet per month, of which 80% of all leathers are supplied to the well-known international branded footwear makers.
In order to consolidate the international spread of Taiwanese based tanneries and to form an industrial group with a voice and strength, several leaders of the leather industry, including my own company, established the Taiwanese International Leather Association in Tainan on April 6, 2008. The association was also formed to overcome shared difficulties and to enhance common industry competition.
In 2006, the Chinese government launched a series of customs policies, which gave more pressure and difficulties to the industry. In order to cope with the difficulties and help the Taiwanese owned tanneries to strive for favourable measures, several tannery bosses and I decided to set up the association. Taiwanese based tanners would benefit from the association on the earned favourable policies and environmental protection measures.
As the vice president of the association, I’m responsible for training competent people based on my early education at the British School of Leather Technology of Nene College (now called University of Northampton) between 1979–81. Nowadays the association has 120 members, including tanneries located in Mainland China, Vietnam and Thailand, tannery machinery makers, chemical suppliers and agents, raw material dealers, as well as environmental engineering companies. The association is actively involved in the following areas through a number of committees:
• Leather Website Committee: A new website www.taiwan-leather.org was set up by this committee. It provides industry news, exhibition information, technology, special reports, legal information, a leather forum and member information etc
• Industry Development Committee: In charge of establishing a
special Taiwanese leather zone and promote new environmental leathers
• Leather Technical Committee: The main job of this committee is to train competent people and conduct training courses.
• Industry Friendship events such as taking part in lectures held by the Taiwan Footwear Manufacturers Association, golf tournament etc.
• Taiwan Leather Industry Forum: The last meeting was held in Taichung on July 11, 2009, with 260 participants. Guests from the footwear industry were also invited to take part in a dialogue with the association members
The current president of the association is Jen Yang, ceo of Tyche Leather who has been elected along with five vice-presidents who each take charge of the above mentioned sub-committees and also include association representatives from non-Taiwan countries mentioned above and the pigskin tanning sector.