Given the difficult situation, the General Assembly of Cotance that held a meeting in Vienna (Austria) on last 7 September, reconfirmed Andreas Kindermann (Wollsdorf tannery) as president of the European Association of Tanners, while Spanish Manuel Rios (Inpelsa tannery) was chosen as 1st Vice-President and designated to take over from Kindermann as soon as circumstances permit. The new Board includes also French Philippe Joucla (Mégisserie Lauret) and former President Rino Mastrotto (Rino Mastrotto Group) as second Vice President.
In addition to statutory matters, during the assembly there has been talk of the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on the sector, leather authenticity and environmental footprint. Cotance members estimate that losses related to the lockdown in 2020 will lead to a drop in European turnover between 30 and 35% compared to 2019. The recovery has started but remains fragile and needs further support from public authorities, in particular in the framework of the European initiatives tied to the Green Deal, the Plan for the Circular Economy, the Farm to Fork Strategy.
President Kindermann stressed that these “are critical times that require forceful action on promoting leather and the leather industry”. The need for an EU leather authenticity legislation becomes increasingly urgent in the light of the expansion of false descriptions in on-line sales platforms.