The statement issued to Leather International by Luiz Bittencourt, president of the Centre for the Brazilian Tanning Industry (CICB) and vice-president of the International Council of Tanners (ICT).
‘The current importance of Brazilian leather both for the international market and the local economy cannot be placed in doubt. In fact, leather is one of the engines of Brazilian economy: the local tanning industry has an international market share of approximately 12% and contributes 7% to the Brazilian trade balance.
Bovine hide processing in Brazil amounts to 40 million units per year while the country has a capacity to process 50% more units than is currently being used.
One of the differentials of the Brazilian production lies on the local husbandry system. The Brazilian cattle herd live and grow in favourable environmental conditions compared to other areas of the planet: Brazilian cattle are not confined but bred in fields and are well fed. This is partly why Brazil has had no incidence of BSE or 'mad cow' disease.
Moreover, productive processes at Brazilian tanneries take into consideration, with no exception, environmental sustainability and social responsibility, turning the Brazilian tanning industry into one of the most advanced and reliable in the world.
The Brazilian tanning industry became an organised institutional sector 52 years with the creation of the CICB in 1957 at a meeting held in Rio de Janeiro.
Since then, CICB has co-ordinated the sector's activities and both its political and international relations. CICB is a member of the International Council of Tanners (ICT) and recently became a member of the International Council of Hides, Skins and Leather Traders Associations (ICHSLTA).
The Brazilian leather industry actively takes part in the drafting of the local government's industrial policy thus contributing through its actions to the generation of jobs and revenue for the country as well as improving the quality of local products.
One of CICB's main actions has been the implementation of a social and environmental seal for the Brazilian tanning sector. The new seal is to be granted to leather producers to certify that their products are socially and environmentally safe for both the domestic and international markets.'