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Tanning has been built on social purpose

As tanners, we often accept that in the past we were a polluting industry. We are users of offal, so as cities began to worry about sanitation, we were classified among the “nuisance trades”. This meant we were classed among a group that worked closely with butchers that included soap makers, tallow candlers, bone boilers and fat renderers. 

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Indian leather should have a bigger share

In 2015 the per capita GDP of China was US$7990 while that of India was only $1617. Quite frankly this is astonishing. Looking back at the China and India I visited first in the early 1980s India was far ahead, and the factories in China were truly reminders of a different, rather primitive, age. Trying to get sensible meetings with staff who worked in dreadful offices along the Bund was difficult and getting round Shanghai, which was just seething with bicycles and poverty, was extremely hard. 

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We are in danger of letting the competition in

I feel fortunate to have worked for the Booth Group and to be able to call myself a “Booth Man”. Sadly, I was involved towards the end of this company, which for over 100 hundred exciting years became one of the biggest and most global tanning histories ever, along with a key role in getting chrome tanning commercialised worldwide.

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Cycling to action

Along time ago, I worked for a company where our Chairman decided to pronounce that we were now able to “manage the cyclical nature of the industry”. We had just completed a rare few years of good results and he thought this showed an ability to control all the complex things thrown at tanners.

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