We refer to your July issue and the reference to the traders concern at the location given to them at Lineapelle exhibitions.

It has been quite evident in previous years at this exhibition that traders have not been welcome and placed out of the way of normal exhibition traffic, yet charged the same amount for the meterage.

This had been happening long before the introduction of the so-called Italian Contract. The organisers seem to conveniently forget that the traders need the tanners but also the tanners need the traders.

Let me confirm that there has not been any obstruction by ICHSLTA towards the contract proposed by UNIC. In our members opinion the timing is not correct and that the normal discussions that have taken place on previous occasions should be allowed to proceed but that time is to be given to allow the current contract to run the usual time of about six years before further discussions begin.

Let it not be forgotten that for the last negotiations in 1997/98 not only the president of ICT at that time – Adolfo Mattirolo – and president of Cotance, Emilio Orozco, together with Professor Bortolotti formed part of the negotiating committee representing ICT for discussions with ICHSLTA and agreed to the contents.

Once again, and the third time in ten years, UNIC still has created objections when all other countries accept the current International Contracts 6 and 7 as first class working documents both for sellers and buyers alike.

With this, we might add, that at the two meetings between the committees in Milano (UNIC offices) and London we were joined by Professor Bortolotti, a contract law specialist, who was appointed by UNIC to represent their interests and it was he who complimented both ICT and ICHSLTA on the correctness and application of the current contracts.

We are not so naive as to maintain that the current documents do not need up-dating and this we agreed with ICT in Hong Kong this year and negotiations will commence during the second half of 2003. Even still, despite being members of ICT, the UNIC organisation still continue to try and enforce their own document upon others when even many of their own members disagree.

The letters written in reply to the traders objections are nothing more than scandalous and we have yet to find an understanding of how the allocation of space at an exhibition and the negotiations of International contracts become one and the same thing. Unless these ill considered statements are made deliberately to cause disruption.

Trade throughout the world is difficult for both traders and tanners alike and we can all do without such aggravating incidents especially coming from eminent officers within Lineapelle and UNIC.

For UNIC, ICT is the recognised negotiating body to represent them with ICHSLTA on International Contracts and they would do well to follow such a format for the future as it would be of considerable assistance to all concerned.

We are certain both matters will be resolved to everyone’s satisfaction in due time but not as a result of attempted threats which are not conducive to international trading conditions.

Tony Cox, director general

International Council of Hides Skins & Leather Traders Associations