• cotance@euroleather.com

Launch of a new European Social Dialogue Project:
Due Diligence for Healthy Workplaces in the Tanning Industry

On 3rd March, European Social Partners, COTANCE and industriAll-European Trade Union, launched their new project Due Diligence for Healthy Workplaces in the Tanning Industry in the framework of the EU support Programme for the Social Dialogue.

With the cooperation of UNIC (Italy), VDL (Germany), ACEXPIEL (Spain), FFTM (France), UKLF (UK), APPBR (Romania) and SG (Sweden), they aim at carrying out three objectives:
- conduct a EU survey on current practices for the identification and reporting of concerns regarding workplace health & safety conditions in tanneries along the leather value chain
- the update of the OiRA on-line Risk Assessment tool  of the tanning sector
- the organisation of a public Final Conference in the second half of 2018 where the results of the project will be widely disseminated.

The repulsive pictures and reports on workplace accidents or sub-standard working conditions in third countries’ tanneries conveyed by mass media affect negatively the image of the industry and the appeal of leather in the general public. Intolerable situations need to be eradicated, tanners need practical and cost-effective tools for demonstrating good practice and buyers of leather need concrete guidance on how to evaluate suppliers for avoiding reputational risks. Certification schemes, generally self-referenced and involving costly audits, have appeared on the market, but their proliferation causes as many dysfunctions as Environmental labels and certifications, notably because they are mutually exclusive and create rising unproductive costs. With the adoption of the Guidelines on Due Diligence for Responsible Supply Chains in the Garment and Footwear sector in February 2017, the OECD has given to this important topic a new momentum.

Europe’s Tanning industry has been working on this argument for over two decades, notably on the nature of the instruments used for assessing, reporting, demonstrating and certifying due diligence along the leather supply chain.
Both sides of the industry vindicate their key role in the definition of working conditions and in the development of the instruments for implementing due diligence in the leather supply chain.
This project aims to provide an institutional contribution to this debate.

Project Details:
Project Abbreviation: Due Diligence Leather (DDL)
Project Title: Due Diligence for Healthy Workplaces in the Tanning Industry
Project Reference: VP/2016/001/0009
Project Duration: 19 months from 01.03.2017 – 30.09.2018