The numbers of visitors and exhibitors attending the 29th edition of Anpic ‘the fair of the America’s’ were visibly lower this year. However, most said that although they had received fewer people compared with last year the visits they did receive were of a higher quality.

Anpic is the only major fair for the tanning and tannery suppliers industries that covers North, South and Central America. A large number of US and Central American buyers attend the fair. The show took place from February 21-24 at the Poliforum Exhibition Centre, León, Mexico.

‘I would say that we have had fewer visitors this year compared with last year. However, the quality of the visitors this year has been better’, Pablo Uriegas, export manager, Curtidos Temola, told Leather International.

Uriegas said that Anpic was still the most important fair if you wanted to do business with the large US footwear manufacturers. ‘Many of the US brands have visited us this year and a number of them did not come in 2003’, he added.

Curtidos Temola are one of the largest Mexican tanners and are located on the outskirts of Mexico City. They process around 8-10,000 sides per week using US hides. Approximately 80% of their production are exported around the world and include brands such as Sebago and Cole Haan.

Mexican tanners were on the whole busy during the period leading up to the show. A weaker US dollar and a weaker peso against the dollar have made Mexican leather and leather products more competitive on the open market.

Juan Carlos Romero Hicks, governor of the state of León officially opened the fair and watched a catwalk show featuring Mexican made footwear products. Approximately 17,651 visitors attended the event during the first three days. Exhibitors included producers of footwear machinery and components, tanners, tannery machinery and chemical suppliers and other service industries.

The fair has been officially awarded ISO9001:2000 accreditation. Next Anpic will take place a week later covering the dates from February 26 – March 1, 2005.