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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.
The exchange of views and ambitions on the European leather industry took place in the open session of the COTANCE Assembly General on Friday 21st of June on the Venetian island of San Servolo followed by an open-air buffet offered by UNIC proposing the delicacies of the local gastronomy.
The business environment of the leather industry in 2013 is quite different than in 2008. The global economic and financial crisis has brought new challenges in the trade and industry. COTANCE President Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group, Italy) invited the representatives of European tanners to addressing them in an open debate introduced by a keynote speaker from the European Commission. Mr Jean-François Aguinaga, Head of Unit responsible for leather in the Directorate General of Industry, conveyed to the audience the strategy of Commission Vice-President Antonio Tajani with regard to the Fashion and High-End industries in which leather plays a crucial role. Mrs Ethel Suvensi, Materials purchaser of Louis Vuitton/Italy offered in response the vision and values of the Maison with regard to the foreseen EU initiatives in support of the industry and the concerns expressed by European tanners.
The exchange touched upon the critical situation regarding leather prices induced by the exponential rise in raw material prices and the proliferation of export taxes and export restrictions implemented by an always increasing number of trade partners, as well as the sector’s efforts and investments in furthering relentlessly the sustainability of leather. Economy and Ecology were at the heart of the debate of an Assembly of industry representatives intimately driven by their common passion for the beauty of leather and the pledge for collaboration for ever increasing levels of excellence.