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Elections reflect change in tone at COTANCE

The main representative body of the leather industry in the European Union, COTANCE, held its 2020 annual general meeting in Vienna on September 7. The event was delayed by several months owing to the covid-19 pandemic, but although some delegates were unable to travel and were online participants, others were there in person.

Elections of a new COTANCE leadership team took place and members chose Manuel Ríos Navarro, who runs Valencia-based double-face and nappa producer Inpelsa, as first vice-president of COTANCE. He will take over as president “as soon as circumstances permit”, COTANCE said.

At the same time, Philippe Joucla of French small-skin tanner Mégisserie Lauret, was elected as vice-president and former president Rino Mastrotto of the Rino Mastrotto Group in Italy was also elected to the presidential board.

Between now and the transition to Manuel Ríos’s presidency, Andreas Kindermann, chief executive of Wollsdorf Leather, who has been COTANCE president since 2018, will remain in the role, “continuing to drive Europe’s leather industry through the covid-19 crisis,” the organisation said.

The likelihood is that this transition will complete in the late spring or early summer of 2021. After that, Andreas Kindermann will remain as part of the presidential board, but not as president.

After the Vienna meeting, COTANCE said the election of Mr Ríos and Mr Joucla reflected a change in emphasis. It said it wanted the body’s leadership to have a greater focus on fashion. It said this would “mirror the policies” that will dominate the European Union in the years ahead.

Image shows Manuel Ríos (left) with event director Michael Duck at a recent edition of the All China Leather Exhibition.

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