During the past six months a CCTV reporter has been investigating the area checking the rivers and ground water. All the drinking wells are heavily polluted particularly with heavy metals.

It is clear that the tanning and thus the raw material buying activity in the region is influenced by this situation as we have already learned from many sources. Some now say that this bad news should be kept quiet because it could bring the cowhide market down.

I propose these people wake up and instead consider it good news if the people busy to destroy our planet are caught and a halt put to their rotten activities. The leather will be produced somewhere else and in the right way, don’t worry, it is just temporary.

The general public out in the street are not interested on whether hides are being sold or not. They are interested in keeping the world as clean and healthy for their children and grandchildren. And they are damn right!

More and more we are faced with attacks on the leather industry, its environmental (like this story) and social (like in Bangladesh) consequences. This is not going to reduce. Social media networks help to make it well known. They spread the news and supply dramatic and sensational stories for the NGO’s and Eco groups, film makers etc. And you can be sure they will start searching in other countries and for sure they will find more! And every time it will mean a new attack on leather. It is time that those still involved in unacceptable activities start cleaning up their act before the mainstream media finds them. It will be more difficult to repair the damage that is being done to the leather industry in general if the media keeps negatively reporting about leather making in such a way.

At the recent Hong Kong fair ICHSLTA, ICT and others announced that they are modernising their organisations. We have the Leather Naturally! campaign where a few dedicated, hard working and super motivated people are addressing the problem. They do all they can but this cannot be handled with limited resources.

The international organisations should develop a program to contact and work with the many national organisations in the world, assist them and make them responsible to clean up their respective countries. Lets do business and save the world for our kids.

Ron Sauer