An NGO focused on improving business practices in the developing world has sent an expert to helping leather companies develop their supply chains and working methods.
Hans Ackermann works for Netherlands-based organisation PUM as a leather and textiles coordinator for the Dutch Senior Expert Programme.
He recently spent time in Zimbabwe helping businesses spot and tackle inefficiencies in their working models. As well as working on improving methods of storing hides and delivering them to tanneries, Ackermann said, "There is also need to implement a grading system for hides that will incentivise the breeders to practice good animal husbandry.
"Companies I worked with in Zimbabwe also highlighted the difficulty in accessing foreign currency to import raw materials, especially at the tanneries.”
ZimTrade acting CEO Allan Majuru welcomed the visit and said he believed that further partnerships will help Zimbabwe's leather sector grow in order to bring in much-needed foreign currency.
Mr Majuru said Zimbabwe's leather sector performance can be improved by a range of various reforms in the sector.
"It starts with the farmers who are branding their cattle in a way that damages their hides,” he said. “With the right incentives and knowledge in place, this can change.
"There are also issues to do with our technology and manufacturing methods which, once improved, will make this sector one of the leading export revenue drivers.
"ZimTrade is also lobbying for duty free importation of raw materials used in the leather sector.”