Led by the World Bank, a twelve-strong delegation from Bangladesh, Washington D.C. and India visited the Test and Research Institute (PFI) and the International Shoe Competence Center (ISC) in Pirmasens.
The representatives of government, local leatherworking associations and industry had the objective of gathering ideas for setting up a modern leather technology and training centre in Bangladesh. At present, Bangladesh does not have a successful technology and training centre comparable to the one in Pirmasens. The visitors' primary focus was therefore placed on the demands which a competitive leather industry has to respond to.
A tour of the state-of-the-art PFI laboratories offering a vast range of physical and chemical quality testing procedures for all kinds of leather articles met with great interest among the participants. Two recognised experts, Dr. Ines Anderie and Dipl. Ing. Kai Tinschert, answered questions and provided supplementary explanations.
Dr. Joseph Strasser (Consulting Service International Ltd.) then gave a brief overview of the CADS-Initiative and of the Quality Association for Sustainability of Footwear and Leather Goods initiated by the German Federal Association of the Footwear and Leather Goods Industry (Hauptverband der Schuh- und Lederwarenindustrie (HDS/L), which both promote greater sustainability along the leather value chain.
In conclusion, textile engineer Jutta Knels, PFI, presented the new Leather Standard by OEKO-TEX®, which addresses the protection of consumers from harmful substances possibly present in leather as well as future prospects and measures for sustainable production: Who is prepared to pay for quality, environmental protection or social fairness? How can SMEs showcase their proactive conduct favouring greater sustainability on a global scale? How can companies explain to consumers that articles of high and durable quality come at a price that includes the cost of environmental protection, industrial safety and staff training, to name just a few? How can reliability and partnership in the supply chain be rewarded and transparency between companies and consumers enhanced?
If you are interested in receiving the presentations (free of charge), please contact jutta.knelspfi-germanyde.