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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. …


Meeting with Commissioner Tajani

The COTANCE Presidency meets Industry Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani

On July 30, 2012, Industry Commissioner and Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani received in Brussels the recently elected COTANCE President Rino Mastrotto. President Mastrotto headed a small delegation composed by COTANCE Vice-Presidents Muirhead, Roselló and Mercogliano as well as COTANCE Secretary General Gonzalez-Quijano.

This encounter between the governing body of the European Leather Industry and the Member of the European Commission in charge of Industrial Policy served to underscore the leadership of European leather producers, notably in key areas of sustainable development, as well as their crucial role in technical, fashion and luxury value chains. With a turnover of some 8 billion Euro, a positive trade balance, worldwide best environmental practice and social accountability standards, European leather is a key player at global scale and in global value chains, representing some 15-17% of global leather trade in value.

Vice-President Tajani is to present later this year a Communication on Industrial Policy outlining the policy objectives and initiatives that aim at strengthening the competitiveness of European industry. The European Commission is also to address aspects of the customs union and the internal market, and enter into further Free Trade negotiations with third countries.


Campaign for Leather

COTANCE launches its Permanent Leather Promotion Campaign
That’s Life, That’s Leather!

that's life, that's leatherAfter offering in Shanghai the licensing of its Campaign material free of charge in the newly established Executive Committee of ICT, COTANCE decided, in its Bucharest Council meeting of September 26, 2012, the institution of a Permanent Leather Promotion Campaign under the slogan “That’s Life, That’s Leather!”.

Created in 2004, the COTANCE Campaign “That’s Life, That’s Leather!” proved that effective communication to the general public on leather does not need to be prohibitively costly and that even less wealthy leather trade associations can possibly sustain effective activities in one of their core competences: the defence and promotion of leather.

The 2004 Campaign was developed as a “postcard-exercise” where images of the omnipresence of leather in our lives testify to the usefulness of the material and the emotions that it engenders in people. The permanent COTANCE Campaign now launched in Bucharest intends to build on the success of the past and to develop a combination  of traditional and internet based communication tools.

Leather trade associations can join the Campaign by subscribing a simple licence agreement and possibly a voluntary financial contribution.

COTANCE invites leather sector operators to sponsor this initiative.