Sustainable Leather Foundation (SLF) today announced the successful completion of a tender process with the Joint Action Support towards Industrialization and the Productive Sectors in the SADC region (SIPS) project to support sustainable and environmental compliance for the leather value chain in the Southern African Development Community (SADC). The Joint Action SIPS is co-funded by the European Union and the German Federal Ministry for Economic Cooperation and Development (BMZ) and managed by the SADC Secretariat.

SLF will offer training workshops aimed at increasing capacity-building on sustainability and best practices, followed by pilot audits that will be carried out in chosen tanneries located in the SADC region as per the contract. These audits will help SLF comprehend the local procedures and capacities. Based on the results obtained, training plans will be created and executed before conducting re-audits by the end of 2023.

The contract will run between May and November this year and a key component of the work is to ensure that local representatives are trained and given the required tools to continue to drive forward improvements in the leather value chain for the future.

SLF plans to incorporate as many connections with other internationally recognised sources of good support as possible, such as the work of UNIDO and their valuable Leather Panel

Deborah Taylor, Managing Director of SLF – “ This week, on 26th April, the industry will celebrate the 2nd World Leather Day, and as an industry we must look to a future that respects all aspects of sustainability – people, planet and profit.  Our responsibility lies, not just in continuing to innovate and find better processes, but also in cooperation with emerging countries to adapt and keep pace with the ever-evolving global agenda and demands. As an organisation we firmly believe that we have to work within a system that is accessible, inclusive and modular – we call it our “A.I.M. Approach”.  It is for this reason that we are thrilled to embark on this important work with the Joint Action SIPS to jointly enhance the leather value chain in the SADC region.”

The Sustainable Leather Foundation’s vision is to enable collective improvement and education, for more sustainable practices in leather manufacture and production around the world. Working with the whole leather value chain, SLF is concerned with all aspects of sustainability – Environmental, Social and Governance. SLF provides a transparent and inclusive approach to demonstrate sustainable good practice throughout the value chain using the innovative Transparency Dashboard™ – the only tool of its kind available within the industry[i]. SLF’s audit and certification standard also incorporates an equivalency service to avoid duplication of effort and resource, and to firmly put the emphasis on improvement and partnership to meet the standards and performance necessary to support a sustainable leather industry of the future.