Traceability in the Leather Supply Chain

19 Apr 2017

A comprehensive report covering eleven chapters featuring the most up-to-date information relating to traceability in the leather supply chain from the farm through to the finished leather product. The report covers the seven drivers of traceability which have been identified in this and other reports from other industries where the ability to track products transparently through the supply chain is required.

The report looks at what traceability and tracking really means in a practical sense and explores the need for traceability in the first place. The report authors have researched existing papers and publications and extracted the findings and best practice from other industries.

The report covers the following areas:

  • Traceability drivers
  • The cost of traceability
  • How do we study traceability?
  • What do other industries do? 
  • How are materials traced in the leather supply chain? 
  • Animal welfare
  • Exotic leather traceability
  • Counterfeiting
  • Tecnhnical and practical solutions for leather traceability
  • Commercial benefits of a traceable supply chain
  • Conclusions and recommendations
  • Reference materials

Finally, the Traceability in the Leather Supply China report reaches some conclusions and recommendations for any company or organisation looking to become more transparent and open about its supply chain. The report also covers some approximate financial costings to adopt any of the technology covered in the report.

Four new or extended chapters added to the report at the end of 2017.

  • Modern slavery
  • Counterfeiting and traceability
  • Chemical traceability and compliance
  • Tracing automotive leather cut parts


Manage supply chain risk

High Street retailers and major brands are facing ever increasing demands from consumers and NGO’s about where products come from and under what conditions they are manufactured. Brands and retailers, especially in the high-end luxury segment, face serious problems with fake or counterfeit products and need to make sure that any leather products made from exotic species are all sourced legally and meet CITES rules.

In recent years, human rights and environmental NGO’s (Non-Governmental Organisations) as well as animal welfare campaign groups have attacked the leather industry for perceived violations in working conditions, environmental controls and its association with poor animal welfare practices.

To counter these threats and to show greater transparency in the leather supply chain responsible leather makers, brands and retailers have sought to introduce traceability into their supply chains.

The Traceability in the Leather Supply chain report brings together all the latest studies from other industrial sectors into a single report examing the various technologies both already in use within the leather supply chain and what could be used in the future to trace from the farm to the finished leather product.


Why buy this report? 

In a globalised world, the leather supply chain is very complex. Hides and skins are shipped and traded all over the world and during the leather making process they can be bought and sold, graded and mixed with several other batches and sources along the way. The leather making process also uses many physical-chemical processes which makes monitoring each hide or skin a challenge.

Being able to track materials through the process is a major challenge but it is one where some progress has been made in recent years and the report brings together an overview of some of the latest techniques employed in the industry to improve traceability and features some real-life case studies. 


Reasons why traceability in the leather supply chain is important:

  • Maintain brand reputation
  • Avoid suppliers with poor environmental controls
  • Know where each hide/skin, leather and cut part comes from
  • Understand which chemicals are used (avoid dangerous or restricted substances)
  • Avoid animal welfare issues
  • Avoid forced or child labour issues
  • Know where hides/skins and leathers originate
  • Prevent counterfeiting
  • Demonstrate best practice and clean supply chain to customers


Who should be interested in this report?


  • Consumers (and their interest groups)
  • Brands and retailers of leather products
  • Leather article manufacturers (footwear, garment & gloving, upholstery, leather goods, saddlery/harness, exotics)
  • Tanners and finishers
  • Research organisations and academic institutions related to leather/leather products
  • Trade representatives
  • Leather industry suppliers



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