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28 February 2023

LWG joins forces with COTANCE and other industry organizations to align on leather traceability

Leather Working Group and other industry organizations sign-on to work towards alignment of leather traceability schemes.

The COTANCE initiative aims to create alignment of leather traceability schemes. 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.

Collaboration and alignment on the critical issue of traceability is fundamental for the global leather industry to achieve sustainability at scale. The Leather Working Group welcomes and supports this positive initiative, as an important step towards achieving a harmonised approach for all the actors in our industry. - Ian Scher, Chair of Leather Working Group

During their last meeting held on-line on January 27, 2023, the industry organizations agreed on the final touches of the Terms of Reference that will govern their convergence endeavours, and during this Lineapelle Fair in Milan started the signature process. The first to sign were Leather Working Group, ICEC (The Certification Institute for the leather sector), and the Sustainable Leather Foundation, with others to follow. The Terms of Reference foresee the enlargement of the group to relevant Intergovernmental Organizations and Livestock sector organizations.

“I am very thrilled with this development, because if we succeed to bring this initiative to a successful conclusion, we will provide the industry with leather traceability tools that will exclude typical standards and audit fatigue in tanneries and avoid unproductive costs for the leather value chain.  - Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, COTANCE Secretary General

Developing leather traceability

Our experts at Leather Working Group continue to develop traceability to drive positive change within the leather industry. View our work and find our how you can get involved: