With the rising profile and value of world brands there is an increasing need for due diligence in the supply chain. For retailers of leather products this means looking beyond the product manufacturer to the tanneries that make the leather, to ensure they comply with appropriate environmental, health and social guidelines.

Nike, Timberland, SRL and BLC will host an environmental forum in Hong Kong during the APLF leather fair to discuss these issues. This forum will be managed by BLC Leather Technology Centre Ltd. The focus of the group will be footwear. However, other sectors will be represented and the initial meeting will be open to all relevant tanners and footwear brands.

The purpose of the meeting will be to discuss the setting up of an environmental working group, the objective of which will be to develop a standardised environmental auditing protocol for tanneries. The benefits of a standardised protocol will be clear terms of reference for the tanners and brands, plus reduced costs and manpower requirements for both supplier and customer.

The meeting is to be held on Friday April 8, 2005, in room 207 of the HK Convention and Exhibition Centre from 1.15pm onwards. BLC urges tanners and brands from the footwear sector to attend so that all perspectives can be discussed.

For further details of this environmental forum please contact Adam Hughes at BLC on +44 1604 679936 or mobile on 44 7801 018944 or e-mail at adam@blcleathertech.com or visit the BLC at APLF at Hall 2, stand CO8