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COTANCE to make PEFCR presentation on April 18

COTANCE, the leather industry’s representative body in the European Union, is fine-tuning a presentation it will make on April 18 in the hope of achieving formal recognition that leather is an environmentally friendly product.

This is the culmination of five years’ work, preparing product environmental footprint category rules (PEFCR) for leather as part of a series of pilot exercises that the European Commission set up to help determine what constitutes a green product. COTANCE said in a statement on April 4 that the leather pilot is one of “a happy few” to have made it to the end of the process.

The presentation on April 18 will be to a steering committee comprising representatives of the European Commission, European Union member state governments, industry and non-governmental organisations. If the steering committee gives its approval to the work the leather industry has done on the material’s environmental footprint, it will bring the pilot exercise to a successful conclusion. However, further discussion will still be required after the pilot phases on future use of the environmental footprint category rules that have come out of the project.

In the April 4 statement, COTANCE secretary general, Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, paid tribute to the contribution of Italian tanning industry body UNIC for the technical and financial support it has given to the pilot project, singling out the work of UNIC project officer, Primiano de Rosa, “without whom we would not be here today”.

He pointed out that while pilots for two related industries, pet food and dairy products, have also made it this far, others focusing on the meat industry, on T-shirt production and on the non-leather footwear sector, failed to make it to the end of the pilot process.

“Now we have to cross our fingers for a positive vote from the steering committee,” Mr Gonzalez-Quijano said.

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