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The Need for Action 

Cattle rearing is one of the drivers of deforestation, along with other commodities such as soy and palm oil. It is also a contributor to the conversion of natural ecosystems such as grasslands and savannahs. While beef production is what drives cattle farming, the leather industry has an opportunity to influence change. 

Currently, industries are at varying stages of tackling deforestation and conversion. For brands and retailers that are using leather, they have the task of transforming long, complex, and often opaque supply chains, to be able to address the issue directly and drive positive change at the source.  

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather 

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather is a collaborative initiative that calls upon brands and retailers to commit to sourcing all their bovine leather from deforestation-free supply chains by 2030 or earlier. The guidelines were developed in consultation with WWF, the National Wildlife Federation (NWF), and the Accountability Framework initiative (AFi). The initiative sets clear expectations for brands, providing them with tools and guidance to support them on the journey.  

Objectives of the Call to Action 

The Deforestation-Free Call to Action for Leather has outlined several key objectives aimed at transforming the leather industry and promoting sustainability. It seeks to catalyze change within the entire leather value chain though collective action. By aligning their actions, brands can have a positive impact on driving sustainable practices at a greater scale.   

The initiative emphasizes the need for a more equitable distribution of responsibility and investment in protecting forests and ecosystems. It encourages engagement and investment, rather than divestment, that will ideally lead to an increase the number of cattle farms that are verified to be deforestation-free and can subsequently provide a deforestation-free source of hides to the leather industry.  

Greater traceability, visibility, and improved communication within the long and complex supply chains is also essential to support the aims of the initiative. Working towards greater transparency will allow brands to reward and promote deforestation and conversion-free practice. 

Lastly, the initiative emphasizes the importance of reporting collective progress, highlighting the positive changes being made by participating brands and fostering transparency within the industry. These objectives together form a comprehensive approach to addressing deforestation and driving sustainability in the leather sector.  


Participating brands are expected to set sourcing requirements, establish and achieve supply chain targets, invest in industry transformation, implement traceability systems, and report progress annually.  

Additional FAQs regarding the initiative are available for members to view here