The current situation continues to be serious. Is it possible to outline a current picture and imagine prospects?
“We are still touched by the pandemic emergency and the only certainty is uncertainty, which makes it practically impossible to talk about prospects.
We have archived 2020 with negative data: almost 25% less in turnover, an unprecedented loss, while the decline in exports amounted to 18%.
The crisis was less severe for the furniture and automotive segment, but fashion, which for the Italian tannery delivers 70% of its turnover has suffered and is destined to keep suffering, at least in this first half of 2021. It is too early to say if we will be able to talk about recovery in the second half of the year”.
What are the most critical points for the tannery world? What is being done about it and what should be done?
“More than its critical points, I would talk about the strengths of the Italian tanning sector, which, even in this dramatic situation, has been able to hold up. We are mostly family-run, well-capitalised companies and our dynamics go beyond the company’s fortune. We have always invested and continue to do so even now. We invest in research and development, in creativity, in environmental sustainability, independently and beyond legal obligations. The crisis is unsettling, but our ‘reliability’ is recognised by customers and will help us to overcome it. The aggregations and acquisitions that we have been witnessing for some time are further proof of what I am saying”.
What do you think are the initiatives of the last presidency that you found positive and on which you intend to continue?
“The Presidency of Gianni Russo has given an important turning point to the association, it has renewed and modernised it, important projects have been launched for the protection and enhancement of the sector, with a strong involvement and cohesion of all of us entrepreneurs.
The road has been traced, however, we will have to move in a changed historical and economic context now”.
What will the priorities of your presidency be?
“I restated it at the time of my election: to work at 360 degrees on sustainability and leather promotion. Communicating the virtuous and distinctive aspects of leather in a more effective way and at the same time aiming for innovation, through new and more efficient technologies. Moreover, a particularly important issue is that of traceability. Maintaining and promoting leadership of the Italian tanning industry and of the entire supply chain is a commitment that cannot provide for exceptions”.
The law protecting the leather (terminology) represented an important milestone. What initiatives do you think are crucial to continue supporting the sector in terms of communicating what leather is and what its strengths are?
“Law Decree 68/20 represents a milestone for the sector. Unfortunately, we are used to advertisements from companies that set up their marketing strategies using the terms leather and hide. All this must be fought. The consumer must know what he is buying. This is called transparency and transparency is part of specific values of moral conduct.
We are victims of superficial attacks, of those who still need to use our terms to establish themselves on the market”.
For now, LINEAPELLE has had to adapt to the situation affected by Covid. How do you believe you will get out of this, what is your vision in relation to the most important international event for the supply of the fashion sector?
“LINEAPELLE, like all world fairs, was penalised by the health emergency, but it represents a heritage that we will continue to defend. A heritage built over time and which has made it the, unique and unmissable, international event par excellence and I’m not just talking about the Milan edition, but also about those of New York, London, Tokyo. LINEAPELLE has never been just a fair with a rich and varied variety of exhibitors, but a trend event, a stimulus for the entire supply chain.
Since the start of the lockdown, we have launched a whole series of digital initiatives, which have helped to maintain connections with operators, both exhibitors and buyers, and to be ready for a restart”.