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Factors affecting hide and skin quality: development of strategies for improving the raw material of the leather industry

Contract nr: FAIR-CT97-3940
Project nr: 3940
Project type: CA
Starting date: 01/01/1998
Duration: 38 months
Total cost: 300,000 EUR
EC Contribution: 300,000 EUR
Scientific Officer: Armin MÜNZINGER
Research topic: Technological instruments and methods
Acronym: Hide improvement strategy

Hides and skins account for about 10% of the value of an animal and are potentially important in the generation of cash income for producers. In order to remain competitive, the EU tanning industry has specialised in producing high-quality and high-performance leathers. To sustain this, the industry needs a secure supply of good-quality raw materials. The general objective is to improve the quality of hides and skins available to the tanning industry; this, in turn should bring benefits to the whole production chain from farmer, to abattoir to tanner, by adding value to an important by-product.

Specific measurable objectives within this project.
There are three key objectives:
a. To form a network of prominent researchers from all areas of hide and skin production.
b. From this network, research efforts within the consortium will be co-ordinated to enable studies to be complimentary.
c. A working document outlining the needs of the industries throughout the hide and skin supply chain is required and this will be prepared during the programme. From these general targets several specific objectives can be detailed as follows:

1. The establishment of a sustainable network involving European Union partners.
2. Increased awareness of the effect of diseases and damage on the value of hides and skins and the adoption of improved control methods.
3. The establishment of a computer-based information system for the World Wide Web.
4. Increased exchange of information resulting in the development of improved control methods for the economically important skin diseases and damage.
5. The development of a computer-aided training package, detailing the identification and control of the economically important diseases and damage that affect the quality of hides and skins.
6. Organisation of regular meetings to be held every six months.
7. Organisation of a keynote seminar involving partners in the project and key personnel from related industries to discuss the priorities for further research.
8. A series of leaflets describing economically important skin diseases and damage will be translated into the languages of the partner countries.
9. A newsletter will be published at six-monthly intervals to outline the current state of research.
10. A final report will be prepared suggesting research required to continue hide and skin improvement.

The proposed project will establish a network linking those engaged in research into raw material quality (at the farm, abattoir or hide market), with those engaged in related work for the leather industry. It will also prioritise the need for further research on these factors based on an economic analysis of the potential increase in returns resulting from improved control. This will improve the focus of the work already ongoing in the different institutes represented in the consortium and enhance its relevance to the livestock producers. The general or long-term objective of the concerted action is the improvement in the quality of the hides and skins available to the leather industry. This will be achieved by identifying the priorities for further research and exploiting the collective potential of ongoing research activities in the European Union. The exchange of information and research materials is a key issue in the success of this project.

Current situation/results:
The project has been under way for two years, and the first four meetings of partners have been held. Three newsletters have been produced and distributed, and the fourth is in preparation. The final draft version of the computer-aided training program has been produced in English, in preparation for translation into French, German, Italian and Spanish, and the project website has been developed and updated.
During 2000, a workshop to which a range of key researchers and operators in the hides and skins sector will be invited, will be held in June. The computer-aided training program will be completed and the material collated will also be used to develop information leaflets on the key types of damage to raw materials.


BLC Leather Technology Centre
Kings Park Road
UK-NN3 6JD Northampton
Tel.: +44 1604 67 99 99
Fax: +44 1604 67 99 98


  • Gustavo Gonzalez QUIJANO
    Confederation of National Associations of Tanners
    Rue Belliard 3
    B-1040 Brussels
    Tel.: +32 2 512 77 03
    Fax: +32 2 512 91 57

  • Göran TRUEDSON
    Svenska Garveriidkareföreningen
    C/O Elmo Calf Ab
    S-51281 Svenljunga
    Tel.: +46 3 251 00 50
    Fax: +46 3 256 11 004

  • Thomas SCHROER
    Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutsche Qualitatshaut EV (ADH)
    Fuchstanzstrasse 61
    D-60489 Frankfurt Main
    Tel.: +49 69 978 431 41
    Fax: +49 69 788 000 89

  • Giorgio BARGIGGIA
    Unione Nationale Industria Conciaria (UNIC)
    Via Brisa 3
    I-20133 Milano
    Tel.: +39 02 80 10 26
    Fax: +39 02 86 00 32

  • Josep ADZET
    Consejo Espanol de Curtidores
    Valencia 359
    E-08009 Barcelona
    Tel.: +34 93 459 33 96
    Fax: +34 93 458 50 61

  • Pantelis PANTELARUS
    Hellenic Tanners Association
    180 Piraeus & Lamia Strs.
    GR-17778 Tavros, Athens
    Tel.: +30 1 346 23 35
    Fax: +30 1 346 14 34

  • Jean-Jacques DELLAERT
    Federatie van Nederlandse Leder Fabrikanten
    Postbus 90154
    NL-5000 LG Tilburg
    Tel.: +31 13 594 47 78
    Fax: +31 13 594 47 49

  • Michel ALLUY
    Fédération Française de la Tannerie Magisserie
    Rue Provence 122
    F-81200 Paris
    Tel.: +33 1 45 22 96 45
    Fax: +33 1 42 93 37 44

  • Sari VANNELA
    Association of Finnsh Shoe and Leather Industires
    Etelaranta 10
    FIN-00130 Helsinki
    Tel.: + 358 9 17 28 41
    Fax: + 358 9 17 95 88
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