The ALCA RLC, which liaises with the Fats, Oils and Animal Coproducts Research Unit of the USDA’s Agricultural Research Service, serves a vital role to assist the USDA in aligning projects and research to meet industry needs. The Research Liaison Committee meets twice a year, once in April at the USDA Eastern Regional Research Center and then during the ALCA annual convention in June to review industry trends and requirements.

In 2008, the RLC polled members of ALCA, the US Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) and members of the Leather Industries of American (LIA) to identify and prioritize the immediate and long term needs of the industry.

Membership and attendance to the RLC Spring Meeting is open to those affiliated with leather manufacture. Attendance and participation in the meeting has been growing for the past few years. Those attending represent tanners, production management, product development executives, researchers, scientists, consultants, chemical suppliers, industry and trade lobbyists, students and those connected to the study and usage of collagen.

Proposed topics include: A recap of the global and US raw material market; An update on issues pertaining to the US hide and leather industry (USHSLA); A regulatory and trade update; A recap of domestic leather activity; Reports by ERRC from the hides and leather programme covering such areas as pretanning, physical properties of leather, alternative tannages, byproduct utilisation and finishing, leather quality (UV resistance) and non-destructive testing.

For further information contact Dean Didato at +1 (801) 746-3600 ext. 306 or