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Blogs & Podcasts

Commentary on topics of the moment from the World Leather editorial team and guest bloggers. Podcasts coming soon.


leatherbiz blogs

COTANCE statement on authenticity in leather labelling - 08 December 2017
We reproduce in full a statement sent by COTANCE to the European Commission on December 7, 2017, to demand action against brands and manufacturers that mislead the public by claiming the synthetic materials they use match or better the properties of ...
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Sam Setter column: Exit 2017, entry 2018 - 05 December 2017
Another year is coming to an end. My best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a wonderful New Year celebration, hoping that 2018 will bring health and prosperity to all.
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David Peters column: That was the year that was - 22 November 2017
Although 2017 began with, ‘what just happened?’, it has been a predictable year from all points of view. With a continued slowdown in the use of leather in footwear to increased hide supplies, the value of our sacred raw material has drop...
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Sam Setter column: Some people know - 07 November 2017
Each time I find some indication that my views on Africa needing to help itself rather than being fed by the aid industry are supported, I feel the need to share it with my readers. At more or less the same time that Italy announced a €180 milli...
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David Peters column: Duplicity and hypocritical brands - 24 October 2017
There is nothing better than a good steak with a warm red centre served plain, without interruption. A New York strip or delicious filet mignon are my two cuts of choice. Ribeye, T-bone dry-aged, luxury selections like wagyu or Kobe beef and tomahawk...
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Sam Setter column: Animal Welfare - 09 October 2017
Animal welfare is an issue that comes up from time to time. It mostly originates from anti-leather campaigns and animal rights group but the question is, are they really wrong?
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David Peters column: Houston, we have a problem - 26 September 2017
According to the Washington Post, Hurricane Harvey unloaded 33 trillion gallons of water. The amount of rain that fell in Texas and Louisiana would have ended the historic California drought twice over. Hurricane Irma dumped around 10 trillion gallon...
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Sam Setter column: Chatting away - 12 September 2017
First of all I’d like to publicly declare my satisfaction that my comments are quite on the mark. I have been criticised by my Ethiopian friend that I am giving the wrong (negative) picture of the African leather industry in general and the Eth...
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David Peters column: Why are we gathered here today? - 28 August 2017
In 2013 at a Kumbh Mela 30 million Hindu pilgrims gathered to bathe. In 2014 up to 17 million people are thought to have gone to Karbala in Iraq for the Arba’een Pilgrimage and in 2015 six million turned out to see Pope Francis in Manila. In Au...
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Sam Setter column: Where your money goes - 15 August 2017
Several recent comment pieces have focused on how the development of the leather value chain is managed in Africa. This month, I would like to put the magnifying glass up to how your money is actually being spent, because it is your and my tax money ...
4 comments.
David Peters column: Unchained - 01 August 2017
Three regions of the world house the vast majority of hide supply, while one region dominates consumption. There are a lot of inequities prevalent in our industry and realistically they all share the same motive: profit. The hide and leather manufact...
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Sam Setter column: The Challenge - 12 July 2017
It seems that one of the most difficult things in the leather industry is moving from one place to the next, creating sustainable clusters, particularly in countries that have unsustainable or obsolete industrial parks or a lack of organisation.
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David Peters column: “Blame it on the bossa nova” - 20 June 2017
Not since “the shot heard around the globe” has an event resonated so much with the hide and leather industry. The recently announced leniency settlement of roughly $3.2 billion by the largest shareholders in JBS will no doubt have uninte...
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Sam Setter column: A success story - 06 June 2017
For some months, I have been having a go at the African leather industry with the objective of triggering some positive action. I would like to push the stakeholders away from improbable theories, stop holding up their hands to various UN institution...
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David Peters column: Out of the blue - 23 May 2017
The guardians of the galactic hide market have their work cut out as outside forces are disturbing the force. There are only a few good men who have the integrity to handle the truth and some of them are lost in translation. Toto, it looks like we ar...
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Sam Setter column: Ethiopian Blues - 09 May 2017
I don’t know if anybody knew this, but there was a new edition of the AALF, All African Leather Fair, in Addis Ababa 16-19 March. The fair was little publicised and I guess few knew that this new edition, after the gap in 2016, was on the tabl...
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David Peters column: The Summer of Love - 28 April 2017
The image of lovers running on a beach in slow motion and then engaging in a warm embrace was replicated at the 2017 APLF exhibition in Hong Kong as principals and agents, tanners and suppliers hugged each other along the harbour shores adjoining the...
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Sam Setter column: Make my day - 11 April 2017
After the blog entries on Malawi Blues and the African Blues, my theory about the waste of development money has unwittingly been endorsed by the minister of industry of Zimbabwe, Mike Bimha and he really made my day when I read an article that was p...
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David Peters column: Taps, the bungled call - 28 March 2017
We would suggest restraint in the trumpeting of global hide markets; any bellicose statements suggesting that renewed demand for shoe leather will cause prices to advance is a very risky business. I also see dead people and missing strawberries while...
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Sam Setter column: Reptiles and sustainability - 14 March 2017
It seems that the Kering Group has stepped up its message to the world about sustainability, traceability and snake farming, publishing a new strategy in sustainability, setting targets and milestones it wants to meet by 2025.
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David Peters column: The old 45 is scratched - 28 February 2017
Back in the day when we rushed out to purchase the latest hit record we played the tune on our turntable until it started to jump from one beat to another. We accepted that the quality of the recording would not be sustainable, even though the messag...
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Sam Setter column: African blues - 14 February 2017
Last month World Leather published Malawi Blues, which, with the inspiration of readers with opposed views, I am expanding into African Blues.
6 comments.
David Peters Column: Alternative facts with the little red (yellow) rooster - 31 January 2017
Compared to watching the inauguration of the forty-fifth president of the US, it is possible that more people will celebrate Chinese New Year. Gongxi facái, Happy New Year to all. In the meantime satellite images are being compared to measure ...
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Sam Setter column: Malawi blues - 17 January 2017
The Maravi Post, a Malawian newspaper, published an article by Lloyd Mbwana on its website on Christmas Day with a headline that shouted ‘Malawi losing billions of dollars on export of skins and hides raw products’. The article was based ...
9 comments.
David Peters column: Cogitations, the New Year and Zorro - 20 December 2016
It was an easy year, 2016, things were so predictable. The Olympics, Brexit, US elections, strong auto-leather business, weak shoe leather orders. Don’t forget the positive attitude towards bi-partisanship, global trade and strategic alliances....
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Sam Setter column: Dhaka (at the end of 2016) - 06 December 2016
First of all my very best wishes to all readers for a happy, healthy and prosperous 2017 where we hope to see business boom again.
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David Peters column: Tic-tacs versus Altoids, we have a newly minted president - 22 November 2016
It is always interesting to observe finger-pointing, whether it results from the peccadillos perpetuated by certain politicians or from hide deliveries and contract renegotiations when abrupt changes take place in hide valuations. This often happens ...
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Sam Setter column: Animal welfare - 08 November 2016
A friend of mine sent me a picture of a cow in India supposedly being skinned alive. When I saw it, I was shocked. She asked me whether this is true or not. After looking more closely at the picture I realised that obviously it is not because the cow...
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David Peters column: Evolution not revolution - 26 October 2016
There are big changes occurring in the universe that will have the effect of influencing how we receive, trade and negotiate hides for the next few years. No I am not talking about the obvious baboon in the room, Demolition Don. Au contraire, I am re...
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Sam Setter column: Brexit and leather - 11 October 2016
By now it is almost six months since the UK voted in the by now notorious referendum to leave the European Union. Some of the celebrations of those who voted “leave” have been replaced with regret and the ill-advised pre-referendum promis...
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David Peters column: Reality check - 27 September 2016
First, a necessary vent. If the intention of the ACLE was to portray an industry weakened by a slowdown in footwear sales and desperate to constrain expenses, then Shanghai 2016 was a success. Economical would be a polite expression to describe the f...
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Sam Setter column: Hard Times - 12 September 2016
First of all I would like to report that I have been contacted by one of the Ethiopian leather industry stakeholders who pointed out that my assessment in an earlier column of the
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The David Peters column: Brave New World - 30 August 2016
I am having trouble finding Pikachu in Shanghai before my phone battery needs charging. My avatar is all dressed up in leather from head to toe compared to the competition, who are wearing cotton canvas and spandex. You would think at the All China L...
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Sam Setter column: Fairs are fair game - 15 August 2016
Fairs have always been one of my favourite subjects. There is always something wrong, or something very right, so as a consequence they tickle my imagination.
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David Peters column: Slumber party - 02 August 2016
We are entering the summer doldrums or perhaps the twilight zone when what may appear obvious is really an illusion. Hide prices at best are stagnant and lack the required trading intensity for any significant upward move. While initial reports of in...
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Sam Setter column: Tannery of the Future - 19 July 2016
World Leather celebrated Tannery Of The Year again at the end of March with a wonderful Gala Dinner, which I had the pleasure and honour to attend. It was a great evening and the tanneries that competed for the title all deserved to be contenders but...
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Sam Setter column: Peanuts and monkeys - 19 July 2016
Some readers have observed that they think I am going soft, that my column is becoming too kind and too nice, whereas they want some fire and sparks. Let’s see if I am getting back on the right road.
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David Peters: Unscrambled eggs - 05 July 2016
“I read the news today, oh boy” (‘A Day in the Life’, The Beatles).
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The David Peters column: Opacity - 06 June 2016
The intersection where sustainability meets mobility has been converted into a roundabout (or, for the US market, a traffic circle). No doubt the environmental planners, concerned about running red lights and stop signs, have yielded to the smoother ...
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Sam Setter column: The Ansari vision - 06 June 2016
First, I would like to apologise that I will again focus on Bangladesh. I do this because the timing is crucial and critical. This article views things from a positive point of view. As you may have read over last month the first tanneries are prepa...
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The David Peters column: “I’ve fallen and I can’t get up”, The market is old and tired - 05 May 2016
Each and every year a tradition takes place that we all prepare for and all too often ignore the obvious implications. It’s akin to stepping into the light, or escaping from the tunnel. We yearn for an improvement in our circumstance and then s...
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Sam Setter column: Sensible or senseless standards - that is the question - 26 April 2016
The world is changing and the requirements of consumers change accordingly, not just for the product itself, which is dictated by ‘big fashion’ anyway, but also for the materials that go into the product and how it is made. We often talk ...
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The David Peters column: Metamorphosis - 06 April 2016
Spring has arrived and so the bizarre world of hides exhibited its traditional pre-Hong Kong move when sellers collectively jumped onto their respective trampolines and took the market for a bounce. Tanners meanwhile remained at ground level and gaze...
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Entomophobia - The mosquito in the room - 01 March 2016
Having canvassed the entire spectrum of the hide and leather markets we can only suspect that the secret to the direction of raw material prices requires divine intervention. We reached this conclusion in the absence of an industry authority being ab...
1 comments.
Phony dealings - 02 February 2016
There appears to be a chasm of opinions spread across all facets of the hide business. Conflicting interpretations about market conditions and contrarian ideas floating all the way into cyberspace. Winter and spring production forecasts add fuel to b...
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Jive talkin’ – a colloquy - 04 January 2016
Celebrating the arrival of the New Year at a famous Asian establishment often frequented by hide and leather notables I was fortunate to have overheard a conversation between a buyer and seller. Here is my English translation of the discussion.
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The David Peters column: Tasseography (Part 2) - 08 December 2015
The reduction in US cattle inventory has been well publicised, dropping to 89.8 million head in 2015 or 8.4% lower compared to the year 2000 when inventories were 98 million head. The more interesting detail is the location change. Over the past 15 y...
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The David Peters column: Tasseography (Part 1) - 03 December 2015
It’s prediction time. At the end of each year prognosticators, clairvoyants, mystics and wizards spout forth their opinions on the weather, economy, sports and various other trivia in the hope of correctly prophesying the future. So like all go...
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The David Peters column: The line it is drawn, the curse it is cast - 05 November 2015
The hide and leather world often struggles to find a common code, a universal dialect that is applicable to all conditions. Fortunately with the numerous technological breakthroughs the syntax has become more legible and the message clearer, but with...
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The David Peters column: Confabulation - 01 October 2015
In days gone past we attended each leather fair expecting to beat old sales records. The industry bookends of Hong Kong and Shanghai became the World Cup of hide trading where each seller enthusiastically endorsed their products and provided tanners ...
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The David Peters column: Pareidolia - 01 September 2015
Is it real or wishful thinking? Are we perceiving a familiar pattern where none actually exists? When the voicemail is played in reverse or at lower speeds, were the contracts actually honoured? Enquiring minds want to know. Now the rest of the story...
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The David Peters column: ‘Ball of Confusion (that’s what the world is today)’ - 03 August 2015
We have a correction, it feels firmer, a bump, will it last longer than four hours? If you were expecting a big bounce, then buy a trampoline. Hide prices have found a level where buyers perceive value opportunities exist. There is a lot to support t...
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The David Peters column: Lex talionis - 02 July 2015
“Trouble, oh we got trouble, Right here in River City!” And so the song (from the Meredith Willson musical The Music Man) goes on and on.
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The David Peters column: Summer driving - 04 June 2015
It’s rally time. Producers start your engines.
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The David Peters column: Revolution - 07 May 2015
Breaking news: There has been a coup d’état and Supply is no longer king. Its successor is Demand. No shots have been fired and no causalities reported, but we know that this regime-change has not been without some pain and suffering. Th...
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The David Peters column: Unintended consequences - 08 April 2015
The annual pilgrimage or trek to Hong Kong has taken place: the migration of industry titans, from their respective leather regions to APLF, all in search of greater knowledge, awareness and market understanding. They circulated around narrow corrido...
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The David Peters column: Frozen - 03 March 2015
The tradition of winter has arrived with a vengeance covering the east coast of the US with record snow falls and low temperatures. With the great lakes being ice-covered, shipments are routed through the west coast (LOL).
1 comments.
The David Peters column: Automotive provides the good news - 16 February 2015
Automotive provides the good news
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New year, new ideas - 03 January 2014
Welcome to a new year on leatherbiz: on behalf of the whole team, I wish success to everyone in the global leather industry, especially our readers and sponsors. Please look out for an exciting redesign of the site, which will go live in the early we...
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Friend or faux - 17 September 2010

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The big day dawns - 29 March 2010

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The devil wears Asda - 24 November 2009

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Let’s hear it for Greenpeace - 20 June 2009

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Bad news sells - 08 March 2009

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Fiction mirrors fact - 05 January 2009

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Welcome to the leatherbiz blog - 09 October 2008
Welcome the editor's blog, please come back later, a story will be added soon.
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Buckman Nov 2016

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