Dutch NGOs and leather companies start 3 year environmental programme in Ethiopia

Dutch NGOs and leather companies start 3 year environmental programme in Ethiopia

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June 11th, 2018

Dutch NGOs Solidaridad and CSR Netherlands, together with leather chemicals supplier Stahl, have today launched the ‘Green Tanning Initiative’ at the All African Leather Fair in Addis Ababa. This 3-year program is aimed at promoting environmentally friendly leather making and creating sustainable employment in the Ethiopian leather industry. The Green Tanning Initiative is co-sponsored by the European Union.

“Ethiopia is renowned for its livestock of 100 million cattle and its fine leather, especially from the famed hair sheep,” says Stijn van Geel, program director for Solidaridad in Addis Ababa. “At the same time, few European companies have established direct business relations with Ethiopia yet. We believe there is ample opportunity to build those relations and to have Ethiopia play a more significant role as a supplier of leather and leather goods to the European market.”

Room for improvement

The organiz ations behind the Green Tanning Initiative see a need for certain improvements in the Ethiopian leather industry as well. The program is aimed at collaborating with Ethiopian abattoirs, tanneries and factories on different SCP practices, including improving the selection system for hides, developing tanning methods that use less, or even no, chrome, salt, water and energy, improving waste treatment and improving working conditions in the whole leather value chain.

Ethiopia as global leader in environmentally friendly leather products

The Green Tanning Initiative is co-sponsored by the EU’s ‘SWITCH Africa Green’ fund, with the mission of promoting sustainable production and consumption in Africa. This mission is closely aligned with the Ethiopian government’s strategy to stimulate the growth and competitiveness of the Ethiopian leather industry, with the ultimate goal of becoming a global leader in the manufacturing and trading of environmentally friendly and high quality leather products.

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