ZAO Russkaya Kozha reached ninety years of age in 2006. At present, the tannery is considered an industry leader and over the past two years, their product range has undergone significant changes. They have reduced their output of unfinished goods and grown the leather production.

Most noticeably, the share of wet-blue in total production volume fell from 40-45% in 2005 to 10-15% in 2006; the rest is finished leather. In this time frame, the share of leather production sold on the domestic market rose from 10-15% to 40% and the tannery updated their product range by 20%.

The company were processing 5,000 tons of raw hides and skins/month in 2006, producing around 850,000 m2 of leather per month. The tannery are offering more than 100 leathers for footwear, garments, leathergoods and furniture. Last year, the tannery expanded furniture leather output threefold and started selling not only in Russia but also to overseas markets. Among customers are about 100 buyers in Western Europe (Spain, Italy, Portugal, Finland, France), Eastern Europe and Asia. For example, Siddiq in Pakistan and BKS Leather in Hong Kong buy from the company.

There are now about 800 items of modern equipment installed in the tannery with a mechanization level of 90%. The company were awarded ISO 9001/2000 certification showing improvement in product quality and their competitiveness on the world market.

In the current year, investment in machinery and equipment is planned to be continued which will allow for further expansion in furniture leather production.

For basic modernization of waste treatment facilities the tannery have expanded by more than US$1 million in 2005. Last year, investments remained at the same level but they were destined mainly for upgrading the technological process.

The volume of waste disposal at the tannery was reduced by 24% in 2006 and now only 20% of waste is not being utilized whereas 80% of it undergoes recycling. Over the past five years, the company have invested US$4.65 million in the environmental programme.

At present, 2,000 people are employed at the tannery. Russia’s Federal Statistics Office reports that 43,400 people were employed in Russia’s leather industry in 2006, a fall of 3.6% compared with the previous year.

Russia is reported to have produced a total of 342 million decimetres of chrome tanned leather products in the first two months of this year, a year-on-year increase of 18.7%.