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Round Table on REACH

The REACH Challenge & Innovation in the European Leather Industry

 

  On 27 October, COTANCE held a Round Table at the highest level of the organised European Leather Industry. It was co-hosted by GERIC, the grouping of European Leather Technology Centres, and focused on the changes that the new EU Chemicals policy has brought about in the Leather business and on the Leather market.

The Leather Industry has experienced significant changes over recent decades. New global players have emerged, supply conditions have mutated and consumption patterns have evolved. New rules affecting the leather trade and industry are forging a new business environment in the sector. REACH in particular opens a new paradigm for doing business in the leather industry not only in Europe, but globally.

In the background of these structural mutations, the economic momentum, however, shows signs of sluggishness. Since the turn of the Millennium global leather production and trade have expanded in volume while the value stagnates. Europe’s leather industry remains the sector with the highest value adding capacity worldwide. It responds to these changes with a higher degree of specialisation, renewed entrepreneurship and innovation. Innovation in Europe’s Leather industry is about business. It concerns as much the economic pillars of doing business in the leather sector, as it concerns its technological toolbox. REACH pulls further innovation into the leather industry. Business leaders in Europe ought to understand how to harness the momentum for the sustainable development of the leather industry in Europe and at Global scale