Last 14 June, the Assembly General of COTANCE took place in Freiberg, Germany, and Thomas Bee was elected its new president.

Delegates from Italy, Spain, France, Germany, United Kingdom, Portugal, Sweden, Romania and, for the first time, Austria attended the meeting at FILK, the German leather research institute.

As 2016 marked the year of the renewal of its Presidency, Mr Jonathan Muirhead, who chaired the Association for two years, stepped down, pointing out that the association had become stronger with the addition of two new members (FV TBSL/ BG LE, Austria and Scan-hide, Denmark). He also mentioned the major successes achieved during his term, such as the development of PEFCR for leather.

Mr Muirhead also emphasized areas where COTANCE had been working hard, in particular the area of leather labelling and in trade reciprocity. He also said that more emphasis was still needed on the defense of the image of leather and in education and training. Finally, he wished his sucesssor all the best for his mandate.

The new COTANCE Presidency is as follows:

  • Mr Thomas Bee (VDL, Schafstall Holding GmbH & Co. KG): president for the 2016-2018 mandate.
  • Mr Hugues Pichon (FFTM, Tanneries Roux): vice-president.
  • Mr Jonathan Muirhead (UKLF, Scottish Leather Group): vice-president, past president
  • Mr Rino Mastrotto (UNIC, Rino Mastrotto Group) is elected as incoming vice-president.

In his inaugural speech, Mr Thomas Bee thanked his predecessor for his dedication during the last two years and thanked all members for the trust put in him for the forthcoming mandate.

COTANCE will meet again in Council in November 2016 in Brussels.