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APIC president calls for Portuguese and EU leather laws

President of tanning industry’s main representative body in Portugal, APIC, Nuno Carvalho, has said he believes the country’s main leather cluster, the one in Alcanena, has a promising future.

Speaking at the recent Expopele event, Mr Carvalho said the Alcanena leather cluster now turns over approximately €400 million per year. It accounts for almost 60% of the value of the local economy there and employs 3,500 people across 131 companies, around 50% of which are involved directly in the production of leather.

But he said that the industry faces challenges from factors including the rise of synthetic substitutes and uncertainty in global markets.

According to Mr Carvalho, the best way to confront those challenges will be for the leather sector in Alcanena to place emphasis on the authenticity of its product and he called on the authorities in Portugal and in the European Union to take steps to protect the identity of leather in law.

He also said that an ongoing commitment to education and skills training and to the circular economy will help the Alcanena cluster remain competitive.

“We already have in place all the qualities we need for Alcanena to have a promising future as Portugal’s leather capital,” he said.

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