- FASHION ACCESSORIES
In Hollywood, it is night of the ‘Oscars’; for the leather industry, it is the night of the ‘ToTYs’ that is important.
STARTS: March 29, 2010, is a significant date for the world’s leather industry. This is when the global industry will learn who has won the Tannery of the Year award for the first time, at a gala awards presentation banquet in the Bauhinia Banqueting Suite at the HKCEC. This awards programme provides tanners everywhere with something to acclaim, an occasion not to be missed by those attending APLF; it will be the night to applaud and be applauded.
The concept behind this ambitious project, developed by World Leather magazine, was to let the industry show that it can be proud of its achievements and take its rightful place as a responsible industry with a continuous investment in improvement. The awards are based on what the companies have achieved in improving their environmental standards, how they see their corporate responsibility towards their customers, employees and the communities in which they are based, and how they are investing in their future.
The first Tannery of the Year programme has taken a year to complete, with the World Leather editorial team visiting five continents in the course of compiling the reports.
The ten Tannery of the Year finalists represent nine countries in total. China, because it is a category in its own right has two: ISA TanTec in Guangzhou and Simona Tanning in Huizhou. One of the European finalists, Bridge of Weir, is based in Scotland, while the other, Josef Heinen, is located in Germany. Africa’s finalists are the Ethiopian Tannery Share Company in Ethiopia and South Cape Ostrich Tanning in South Africa, while the Americas finalists are Procesos Húmedos, from Mexico, and Curtiembres Fonseca from Argentina. The finalists for Asia excluding China are PrimeAsia Vietnam and TATA International in India.
Tough time for the judges
The judging panel for the inaugural Tannery of the Year Awards comprises five judges from diverse business backgrounds. They will study the in-depth reports World Leather has published on the ten finalist tanneries, meet the finalists on the afternoon of Monday, March 29 in Hong Kong, and listen, during a private judging session, to a presentation from each one before deciding on a winner for each of five regions around the world, as well as one global Tannery of the Year for 2009.
The chairman of the judges is Alan H Smith, who was vice-chairman for the Pacific Region of leading global investment bank Credit Suisse First Boston (CSFB) until his retirement. Prior to joining CSFB, Mr Smith was the chief executive of the Jardine Fleming Group, a leading Asian investment bank, and its chairman from 1994 to 1996. During this period, he was named Asia’s Banker of the Year.
Kim Reid is currently head of leadership and talent at British Airways (BA). Her roles include identifying and developing people to their highest potential at all levels in the organisation. She is also involved in much of British Airways’ charitable work. Professor Dr Bi Shi is the president of the International Union of Leather Technologists and Chemists Societies (IULTCS).
He was a member of the organisation’s executive committee for four years before that. Professor Bi is the professor of the leather engineering department of Sichuan University, China.
Paul Pearson is secretary to the International Council of Tanners (ICT), a role he has carried out since December 1997. He is also the director of the UK Leather Federation.
Steven A Jesseph is chief executive of Worldwide Responsible Accredited Production (WRAP), a non-profit, factory certification group. WRAP certifies factories to a 12-point code of conduct covering legal, labour, environmental, security and customs compliance areas for labour-intensive consumer products manufacturing.
Hong Kong on March 29 should be a real red-carpet occasion.