“Consumption of beef is still considered a luxury by many people in Indonesia. The upward pressure on meat prices and has led to a reduced slaughter across the country”, says Sutanto Haryono, Chairman, Indonesian Tanners’ Association.

There are approximately 270 tanners across Indonesia but only 67 are of a larger scale with approximately 200 smaller units. A number of South Korean and Taiwanese tanners have invested in the local tanning industry Haryono told ILM.

Leather makers in the country focus sports shoe grain and split leathers for manufacturers based in the domestic market or for export to other south-east Asian producing countries such as Vietnam, Myanmar, Cambodia and China.

Another issue facing domestic tanners is increasing costs of environmental compliance. “Today you need lots of government licences to operate a tannery. They are getting tougher on environmental pollution and wastewater controls. However, despite all these problems, the leather industry in Indonesia is looking at a brighter future as there are many shoe factories relocating back into Indonesia, in particular from China”, says Haryono.