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Visit to reborn Iris factory

Giuseppe Baiardo receives COTANCE General Assembly delegates in his revolutionary Concept Footwear Plant

Iris Group CEO, Giuseppe Baiardo, currently within the Onward Kashiyama Luxury Group, opened to COTANCE delegates the doors of the newly inaugurated plant in the Riviera del Brento.

The representatives of the European leather industry and their European Commission guest of honour, Mr Jean François Aguinaga, had the opportunity to learn about the highly sophisticated business model that provides high-end brands top level services from the idea of a pair of shoes born in the creative mind of a stylist until the industrialisation of production passing through crucial steps from design to prototyping including 3D modelling.

Giuseppe Baiardo invited his hosts to a concluding drink in the reception facilities on the roof of the futuristic building where he entertained further passionate exchanges with them.

COTANCE expressed its gratitude for the eye-opening tour of the facilities and the kind and pleasant hospitality.

Visit to Vuitton's plant in Fiesso

COTANCE visits the new Louis Vuitton footwear manufacturing plant in Fiesso

The delegates of the COTANCE Assembly General held on 20/21 June in Venice were invited to visit the new L. Vuitton footwear manufacturing plant in Fiesso, a rare privilege granted to few selected stakeholders of the famous leather brand.

There, European tanners had the opportunity to witness how art and technology are wisely and carefully blended in an industrial culture devoted to the excellence and beauty of leather. It is not by chance that L. Vuitton had decided investing in this part of the world its global footwear creations. It is in Europe where the passion for design, material science, craftsmanship and high-tech drive the leather industry to ever higher levels of luxury.

It is not the first time that COTANCE has been granted the honour and pleasure to sharing with L. Vuitton a reflection on the present and future of the leather industry. The first encounter took place in 2008 during the Presidency of former COTANCE Chairman Jean Claude Ricomard (Tanneries Roux, France). On that occasion COTANCE was invited to visit L.Vuitton’s historic leathergoods facility in Asnières-sur-Seine near Paris. 


Shortage of raw materials for EU tanners

COTANCE Presidency calls for official monitoring of the critical shortage of hides & skins on the EU market that drives prices to unsustainable levels

The COTANCE Presidency met on April 3, 2013 in Bologna under the chairmanship of Mr Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group, Italy) on the sidelines of the Lineapelle Fair, Europe’s largest Leather Fair. They expressed high concern on the developments on the raw materials market. Availability of certain essential raw materials is vanishing at an increasing speed due to rising extra-EU export levels of hides and skins and prices that are reaching unprecedented levels. Those most affected are the hides and skins to be destined for the World’s top fashion and high-end industries, the brands that make the prestige of Europe. They depend on the quality leathers that are the speciality of EU tanners.

European tanners, already enduring the credit crunch in the Euro zone, witness the proliferation of export restrictions on raw materials in most resource-rich countries and the drain of Europe’s own raw materials. They find it intolerable that public authorities continue to ignore the gravity of the situation. It is high time for taking the necessary measures capable of redressing this situation that is taking hostage a leading industrial sector in Europe. Failure to do so could compromise seriously the competitiveness of Europe’s leather sector, the cradle of the creation of wealth and employment in the leather value chain.


European Platform for Chemicals


COTANCE is a founding member of CheMI.

CheMI is a platform for downstream users of chemicals in manufacturing industries. It works as a channel for the downstream users in article producing industries to represent their interests and aims at contributing to the successful implementation of REACH.

CheMI was established in 2003. Its members are trade associations representing a variety of sectors and comprising approximately 400.000 companies and 7 million employees, for a turnover of more than € 670 million. CheMI constituency consists mainly of SMEs.

These are the internal rules of its functionning.

CheMI's Position Statements and further information on the CheMI Platform can be obtained by visiting this page.

Labelling of leather

COTANCE calls on the European Commission not to delay the procedures for regulating at EU level the use of leather terms and the labelling including origin of leather products within the current legislature

The COTANCE Council met on February 18, 2013 in Brussels under the chairmanship of President Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group, IT) reviewing among others progress on one of its priority policies: the legal protection of the term Leather against abuse and mis-descriptions. This is a matter on which the international leather community is looking for authoritative solutions coming from Europe.

In this respect COTANCE has engaged in an ICT supported Campaign aiming at regulating at EU level the lawful use of the term leather and the uniform composition labelling of leather products on the model of the EU Footwear Labelling Directive. Last 30 July 2012, COTANCE President Mastrotto with his colleagues in the Presidency received from Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani assurances on the taking up of this objective.

As a result, the Commission Staff Working Document on POLICY OPTIONS FOR THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE EUROPEAN FASHION INDUSTRIES — ‘WHERE MANUFACTURING MEETS CREATIVITY’ (SWD(2012) 284 final/2) adopted on October 5, 2012 states that “… while the labelling of textiles and footwear (including leather footwear) is regulated at EU level, no EU legislation covers the labelling of leather and leather products as such.”, and indicates that “The Commission will therefore explore the need for and feasibility of labelling in the field of leather and leather products at EU level.”


Access to Finance

COTANCE calls on the European Commission to look into the worsening of the market conditions for EU Tanners’ hides & skins supplies and access to finance

The COTANCE Council met on February 18, 2013 in Brussels under the chairmanship of President Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group, IT).  The review of the state of trade in Europe’s leather industry reveals some positive features in certain sub-sectors such as top fashion and automotive while others are still struggling with the reduction in the overall demand for leather, such as furniture. The most recurrent complaint among all delegates was the worsening of the market conditions for the supply of the industry’s raw materials and the consequent price peaks in certain types of hides and skins. Paradoxically, calfskins have become more expensive than meat.

European Tanners regret the lack of action of European authorities in addressing the adverse economic effects of the progressing critical shortage of raw materials on open markets that drive prices to unsustainable levels. The shortage of raw materials on the European market is due to export restrictions set up by major producing third countries, such as Argentina, Brazil, India or Pakistan, and the exponential increase in the exports of EU hides and skins resources to competitors. The issue is well known to European authorities as it has been evidenced and documented in the relevant DG Trade Leather sector Market Access Committee. The recent Commission Staff Working Document on POLICY OPTIONS FOR THE COMPETITIVENESS OF THE EUROPEAN FASHION INDUSTRIES — ‘WHERE MANUFACTURING MEETS CREATIVITY’ (SWD(2012) 284 final/2) adopted on October 5, 2012 says: “… Today, more than ever, global competition for raw materials is increasing. … Prices of hides and skins are at their highest level in nearly a decade, with demand greatly exceeding the shrinking supply. ... Consequently, action at EU level will be developed to secure undistorted access at fair prices to the raw materials the fashion industries need. …