Fulvia Bacchi, CEO of Lineapelle

A few months have passed since the last interview with Fulvia Bacchi, Lineapelle’s CEO, and unfortunately the critical situation related to the pandemic has not yet been resolved. The crisis worsens and the sector also had to do without its most important trade fairs. Let’s sum up the situation.

What is all the time spent to put in place new initiatives (including The 365 Showroom) teaching you for the future? What can we expect from the next Lineapelle (we all hope to be able to attend it physically)?
“All the initiatives launched by LINEAPELLE over the past year had a single objective: maintaining relations with our reference community. The numbers of contacts established were excellent, but let’s not hide the fact that this ‘digitisation’ is an opportunity, with many critical aspects. The key role of the fair is to see and be seen and this is missing. We are told that, after this pandemic, everything will change and it will take years for a return to an almost normal life. In fact, it is very difficult to plan our future. We move with great caution, day after day, in the knowledge that we will have to be ready to change course all of a sudden.
Should the Government in September authorise the conduct of fairs, we will have a LINEAPELLE edition with the same formula as last year, with pre-fitted stands, but always enriched with important creative contents. LINEAPELLE has certainly established itself for its high level of internationalisation and today this is a factor far from being achieved”.

As fairs you have asked the Government for more clarity. Are there any other concerns that the state should have for the sector?
“This is strange to say because politicians, of any party, have often and willingly attended trade fairs, but they seem to ignore what they really represent in the economy of companies and in their process of internationalisation and in the country’s economy.
Fairs continue to be assimilated to festivals. The trade fair system is among the most penalised by the pandemic, data are terrible, the turnover is close to -80%. Financial aids managed by Simest have minimally compensated for the losses, but the knot to be solved remains: the recognition of their strategic role. It is possible to organise a fair in safety, our locations allow it and we organisers can take all the necessary safety measures”.

What are the next UNIC initiatives to present?
“As an association, in addition to all our own assistance activities, we continue to promote ‘Made in Italy leather’, an excellence to be defended tooth and nail.
Too many misleading communications are trying to ‘demonise’ it, promoting alternative materials of various and not always clear sources.
Circularity and sustainability are terms that have always belonged to us and we bore all the related costs, even before they became marketing tools, business opportunities for foundations and laboratories. Everyone seems to apply them, everyone talks about them as a duty, but it is the upstream supply chain that really takes care of them, with a reduction of its margins, which are increasingly lower”.