Most important item for review was planning for the 31st IULTCS Congress to be held in Valencia, Spain from September 28 – 30 this year. It was announced that simultaneous translation in three languages – English, Chinese, and Spanish – would be offered and this will help boost attendance. Planning for this event is going well and response to the call for papers has been exceptional. This Congress is the premiere forum for the technical sector to share significant developments within the global leather industry and expectations are running high. An additional item – and following a close EC vote – the winner of the third IULTCS Merit Award was selected and will be announced shortly. A plaque commemorating this award will be presented during the opening session in Valencia. This recognition for outstanding achievement and technical contribution has been described as ‘the Nobel Prize for the leather industry’.

Interest in conferences held under the IULTCS banner is strong, and two regional events are planned for next year. In early October 2012, the Latin American organization FLAQTIC will meet in Montevideo and later in November 2012 the Asian societies are planning a conference in Taipei.

Also covered during the IULTCS EC meeting were activity reports from the regional member society and updates on work of the seven IU commissions. These will be uploaded to the IULTCS website shortly – The industry faces many technical challenges – eg restricted substances, accurate test methods, labeling and identification of leather, etc. – and members of the IULTCS are actively engaged along with other global and regional associations to help resolve some of these problems.