Among the invited guests and civil dignitaries attending the event the Ethiopian Ambassador to the UK, Berhanu Kebede, was also present following Pittard’s announcement last week of the acquisition of the Ethiopia Tannery Share Company tannery. Pittards had previously been managing the tannery located outside of Addis Ababa for the past four years. ‘Pittards have been doing business in Ethiopia for many years now and the acquisition of the tannery is a symbol of co-operation between the UK and Ethiopia’, Berhanu Kebede told Leather International. ‘We can benefit from Pittards know-how and technology which will allow the ETSC tannery to add value to the abundant raw material which we have and will act as important source of income generation for our country and will hopefully open the door to other like minded companies’, he added.
Once the deal has been finalised Pittards aim to shift more small skin production to the Ethiopian tannery and will concentrate on bovine production and product innovation, sales and marketing at the Yeovil site. The Princess Royals visit was organised in conjunction with the UK Fashion Exports organisation of which she is patron.
‘We see the acquisition of the ETSC tannery as a fulcrum deal in the ongoing development strategy of the business’, Stephen Boyd, Pittards chairman told Leather International. ‘The Princess Royals visit is the icing on the cake for all the recent developments we have made with the business and underlines the Pittards brand as a continuing leader in the manufacture of fashion and technical leathers’, he added. ‘All of this however, could not have been achieved without the continuous and loyal commitment of both our customers and staff.’
The Princess Royal was presented with a number of gifts at the unveiling including a saddle and other leathergoods manufactured using Pittards leathers.