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BLC and Applied DNA claim success for leather traceability project

The BLC Leather Technology Centre and Applied DNA Sciences, a provider of DNA-based product authentication solutions, are celebrating the successful completion of a research project which aimed to develop a comprehensive and verifiable leather traceability platform. 

The project was launched in April 2017. The partners said it would be based on Applied DNA’s DNA’s SigNature T-based system, which is already used in the cotton, wool and synthetic textiles industries. 

They hoped to demonstrate the platform across the entire leather supply chain, from farm to finished product. More specifically, they aimed to implement DNA tags during the following key processing stages:

Apply DNA to animals on a farm and test for recovery when hides were delivered to a tannery;
Apply DNA at the wet blue stage after initial tanning and test for recovery following leather splitting on both grain leather and drop splits; and,
Apply DNA during the leather finishing process and test for DNA recovery.

A little over 12 months on, Applied DNA has said: “We are pleased to announce the research project was successful in every aspect, achieving all the stated objectives. The project was completed on schedule and proved the technical feasibility of DNA marking throughout the leather supply chain using SigNature DNA.”

The projects sponsors included Clarks and Puma, as well as two tanning groups, Scottish Leather Group and Tong Hang Tannery. 

Dr Victoria Addy, technical director of BLC, said: "We are delighted at the results which exceeded everyone's expectations. The potential for this technology to help the leather industry to ensure a fully traceable supply chain cannot be underestimated and we look forward to working with Applied DNA and sponsors in the coming months to see the technology being introduced."

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