Last 2 October 2019, ahead of the UNIC SER (the Social & Environmental Report of the European Leather Industry) 2020 Workshop focussing on tanners’ raw materials, representatives of the hides and skins supply side and of their buyers in the European leather industry met in Lineapelle for discussing issues of interest to the value chain.

This encounter, bringing together delegates from COTANCE (European Leather Industry Association), UECBV (European Livestock & Meat Trades Union), USHSLA (US Hides, Skins & Leather Association), CICB (Brazilian Leather Industry Association), national organisations and individual companies from Italy, Austria, Germany, France, UK and Denmark, constitutes a first in terms of geographical scope and format, as it was meant to kickstart a constructive dialogue in which to address key concerns of the European leather value chain, such as animal welfare, deforestation, traceability, quality improvement, authenticity and environmental allocation.

Participants agreed on the common agenda and committed to converge on objectives in the various areas.

As a major result in this first encounter, value chain partners agreed to set 2030 as the date on which an appropriate system to trace product based on the various risk factors would be implemented including back to the individual animal, where appropriate, and 2025 when traceability up to the slaughterhouse would be routinely available for hides and skins. They agreed furthermore to cooperate in campaigns, such as #MeattheFacts, where facts on animal welfare and the reality of the European livestock sector are communicated to the wider public dispelling prejudices and misconceptions.

A follow-up encounter for monitoring progress is planned to be held at the next Lineapelle Fair.