Three major leather industry organisations have started working towards alignment of leather traceability schemes.
- The first to sign the agreement are the Leather Working Group, ICEC-The Certification Institute for the leather sector, and the Sustainable Leather Foundation (SLF).
- The initiative which aims to create alignment of leather traceability schemes is led by COTANCE (Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community).
- The three organisations signed the agreement at the Lineapelle Fair in Milan held last month. Oekotex and Textile Exchange, who were not in attendance at Lineapelle, are expected to follow at the next opportunity.
The Backdrop: The initiative on alignment of Leather Traceability Schemes was launched at the last Lineapelle Fair in September 2022.
- Since then, it has progressed at monthly meetings in which the main leather-relevant certification scheme owners and interested CEN TC 289 Standardisation experts have prepared together with the COTANCE Secretariat the way for defining the minimum essential elements of traceability and evidence of verification to be present in a scheme.
- The main leather-relevant certification scheme owners and interested CEN TC 289 Standardisation experts have agreed to work together pre-competitively to define the minimum essential elements of traceability and evidence of verification to be present in a scheme that assesses leather traceability.
- During their last meeting held online on 27 January, the industry organisations agreed on the final touches to be given to the Terms of Reference that will thereafter govern their convergence endeavours.
- The signature process started at the Lineapelle Fair in Milan held from 21-23 February. The next meeting of the Leather Traceability Cluster, as the working group has been named, is scheduled for 16 March.
- The Terms of Reference foresee the enlargement of the group to relevant intergovernmental organisations and livestock sector organisations.