The Council of COTANCE has urged the European Commission to use its legislative powers to regulate leather authenticity labelling in the EU market.
The request follows a recent meeting of COTANCE, which comprises representatives of the Italian, Spanish, French, British, German, Portuguese, Austrian and Swedish tanners, in Milan.
In June, the EU Court of Justice ruled that plant-based products such as tofu or soya cannot, in principle, be marketed as dairy products such as milk or cream.
COTANCE wants the same rules on mislabelling to be applied to the leather industry, claiming that false and misleading product descriptions with regard to leather have grown exponentially.
“Europe’s tanners express concern for developments in all their market segments from footwear to automotive, affecting equally garments, bags and pocket goods, and furniture,” the council said in a press release.
“Through COTANCE they condemn in particular the practice to promote alternative materials by denigrating leather and soiling its environmental credentials.”
COTANCE also calls on the European Commission to take action in the case of Nike’s “Flyleather” campaign.
“The ‘Flyleather’ Campaign constitutes a challenge not only to EU labelling and fair trading rules, but also to the EU Environmental Footprinting initiative whose methodology has been ignored, rendering futile the three-year pilot phase for product category rules in the leather and footwear sectors,” the COTANCE press release states.
“The term “FlyLeather”, with which Nike promotes the product, is moreover illegal in several important EU member States’ consumer markets where legislation or standards prevent consumers from deceptive commercial practices and the leather industry from free riding its heritage.”