Joint effort for the challenges of tomorrowAn interview with the President of AICC, Ernesto Pisoni, to discuss the goals achieved in the first year of his appointment and the strengths of an association characterized by the strong passion and commitment of its operators
A year has passed since Ernesto Pisoni was elected president of the Italian Association of Leather Chemists and under his leadership numerous initiatives have been proposed to the tanning industry involving many operators of different extraction and specialization, who want to exchange ideas on the various daily aspects of leather. «The emphasis is on training and communication», explains Pisoni. «We organized training seminars in the three districts that always had a large number of participants, thanks to the involvement of highly valued professionals and teachers, and well-chosen themes: sustainability, water purification, chemistry, regulations and technology. Informative newsletters were also created to support the internal activities of the AICC, accompanied by news from the tanning world in order to provide a more timely service to members. Furthermore, most of this news is sent to the Associations and foreign sector-related publications in English in order to open up a more international and globalized window».
With the collaboration of everyone
It should be noted that all this has been made possible by the unselfish contribution of associates who each day put their experience on the table in order to guarantee the Association’s activities. In fact, the AICC does not have an office. «I have to thank», points out Pisoni, «those who support the AICC, each within their own field of expertise and professionalism. Thanks to these synergies – in collaboration with Professor Maurizio Masini, professor of Applied Computer Science at the Faculty of Communication Sciences of the University of Siena – a very captivating video was produced on leather and its importance. In addition, we published the update of various international test methods which is distributed free of charge to all members. This is important since the publication entitled “Metodi di prova applicabili al prodotto cuoio e panoramica dei requisiti ecotossicologici” (“Test Methods applicable to the leather product and overview of eco-toxicological requirements”) represents a very useful consultation tool for all operators involved in the regulations and various updates. Finally, I would like to remind you that all the training seminars held in the various districts are now valid for obtaining Vocational Training Credits, thanks to various agreements that the Association has entered into with various Professional Associations».
In the front row in the school
This well-structured commitment dedicated to the training of members goes hand in hand with all the work relating to basic training as well as the work carried out by the Technical Institutes. «For years the Association has been promoting the dissemination of the tanning culture by offering scholarships to the most deserving students, as well as providing textbooks to all students in Italian tanning institutes, also in English», continues Pisoni. «Furthermore, we have worked on the curriculum for the two year ITS specialisation course, which will start next September at the Galileo Galilei Institute of Arzignano».
In defence of its history
The spreading of the tanning culture by the AICC, however, is not limited solely to interventions in schools and specialisation courses, but also includes very concrete initiatives. «We have already completed restoring some of historical tanning books to enrich the collection currently held in the Municipal Library of Arzignano and we are actively trying to protect and safeguard the destiny of the “Baldracco” Institute of Turin, which has now been closed for a few years, and which conserves the first steps of the Italian tanning history. Together with the “Salviamo la pelle” Citizens Civil Committee (“Save Leather”) set up by determined former professors as well as AICC members, we would like to preserve the site as a museum for leather technologies to act as a testimony of the national progress of the chain. This Institute was the first in Italy to help provide the scientific-bases recognised at an international level, which led to the birth of the AICC and the growth of SSIP.”
The Association of Italian Leather Chemists is an association characterised by a strong passion and it prides itself in the growth of its associates. «We have gone from 350 members in 2015 to 400 in 2016, and 478 at the beginning of summer. It is a satisfaction for all of us that work actively in this association and dedicate our time to enrich it and to contribute to involve young people who represent our future», concludes Pisoni. «Discussion panels allow tackling the ever-more difficult challenges of the global market and AICC is an effective promoter of cohesion and a platform for spreading innovation and culture».