Leather is the core business of most major luxury brands, accounting for up to 70% of their turnover. The Italian leather industry is the only one that encompasses, at a high level, the entire value chain in a single country, within specialised tanning districts. The overall leather sector (including tanneries, footwear makers, leather goods and technology companies) represents an important slice of Italian manufacturing: it employs more than 130,000 people (4% of the Italian manufacturing sector), produces more than €30 billion in turnover and an added value of €6 billion, which equals 3% of all Italian manufacturing.

In 2022, Italy reconfirmed its position as the leading exporter in Europe by value in terms of technologies for the supply chain, tanned leather, leather goods and footwear. Italian savoir-faire is recognised worldwide: the value of exports of the four supply chains in 2022 amounted to approximately €27 billion (+15% compared to 2021). Of these, about 45% were footwear and 40% were leather goods, with Europe, the United States, South Korea and China among the top export destinations. The trade balance is around €15 billion (€1.7 billion for tanneries, €7.2 billion for leather goods, €5.4 billion for footwear and €300 million for technology). We are talking about a “national champion”.

Simac Tanning Tech

The Simac Tanning Tech exhibition, which took place from September 19-21, 2023, at the Milano Rho exhibition centre, demonstrated the vitality and innovation capacity of a strategic sector for the Italian as well as the global economy. The final attendance figure of over 6,500 certified attendees including operators and delegations – about 60% of which were Italian visitors and 40% were foreign visitors, increasing by 37% for visitors and 14% for exhibitors compared with last year – rewards the commitment and willingness to innovate of the 320 exhibitors, brands and institutions present at Simac Tanning Tech and confirms a recovery of the exhibition back to pre-Covid levels.

The numbers prove the positive trend, starting with those of the exhibiting companies present on the 15,000 sq m of the fair. Italy was the most represented, but also companies from Turkey, France, Germany, Portugal, Brazil, Mexico, Spain, Tunisia and the great return of Asian countries among the 96 nations of origin of visitors. Interesting innovations and application services presented by companies are increasingly aiming to create production ecosystems under the banner of sustainability.

Maria Vittoria Brustia, President of Assomac and Simac Tanning Tech, said: “The international attendance of visitors and the attention of technology manufacturers towards process organisation and digitalisation confirm a significant change of pace towards a sustainable transition. We are certain that this road shared by all operators in the sector will soon generate satisfying results.”

Thanks to the consolidated collaboration with ITA-Agenzia, the Simac Tanning Tech exhibition benefited from the presence of 18 international delegations with about 100 buyers, institutional delegates and foreign press, a significant number of whom were also present at the 21st UITIC International Congress of Footwear Technicians. The 50th edition of Simac Tanning Tech will take place from September 17-19, 2024, again at Fiera Milano Rho.


Pictured, left to right: Assomac Vice President Mauro Bergozza, Assomac and Simac Tanning Tech President Maria Vittoria Brustia, Agenzia ICE Central Director for Export Sectors Maurizio Forte and Federmacchine President Bruno Bettelli.

This article is an advertorial provided by Assomac.