Managing demand and supply key to growing local leather industry

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Livestock and Fisheries Minister Greyford Monde, his deputy Lawrence Evans and Deputy Director of Livestock Development Christine Yambayamba tour Zambeef’s Zamleather tannery, accompanied by General Manager Richard Franklin.

Zambeef’s leather division, Zamleather,  has called on industry players to manage demand and supply in the sector in order to grow the sector.

Zamleather General Manager Richard Franklin relayed this message when the Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Greyford Monde toured the Zamleather factory today (May 3, 2016).

“The leather industry has got a huge amount of potential and is very labour intensive by its very nature because we are using a natural material. It is a potentially huge market for investment,” said Mr Franklin.
Mr Franklin emphasised the need to stimulate healthy demand for leather while at the same time ensuring there was a consistent supply of quality raw hides to feed into the industry.

“It is an area that needs investment, and we obviously need support both from the demand point of view – we need to create an environment where leather products are demanded – and we also need to look at the supply side of things where the raw materials are looked after and that we keep them within our country and we value add them in our country. If we can look after those two aspects I’m sure the leather industry will bloom,” he added.

Mr Franklin highlighted the need to work with small-scale farmers across the country to enhance the quality of hides by ensuring that dipping is done correctly, and the appropriate size of brand marks are used in the correct place on the animal as these details made a significant difference to the quality of the finished leather.

“The placing of a brand mark can reduce the value of a hide up to 50 percent and it can be something as simple as a small ten-centimetre brand mark in the wrong place and that hide can go from being a top value hide to being a very poor quality hide, yet the rest of the hide is absolutely fine,” cautioned Mr Franklin.

The Minister, who was accompanied by Deputy Minister of Livestock and Fisheries Hon. Lawrence Evans and Deputy Director of Livestock Development Dr Christine Yambayamba, urged Zambians to have a change of mindset regarding locally produced products seeing that the quality of local products was as good as any of imported goods, citing Zamleather’s Mukwa safety boot as an example of a local ISO-certified product.

“You can choose to grow your economy, to build your country by choosing to buy Zambian products. So we need to be proud Zambians who are going to buy Zambian products,” he said.

Zamleather is Zambia’s largest operating tannery, manufactures leather products such as wet blue hides, protective clothing, industrial footwear and consumer footwear under the Zamshu brand. The Kaleza Z-12 model leather football boots are also one of the products from Zamleather and are unique in that they are not only manufactured in Zambia but were also designed locally, a first for Zambia.  Zamshu has installed capacity to produce 600 pairs of shoes per day and also exports leather to regional and international markets.

The Zambeef division processes 6,000 hides per month at the Lusaka tannery and a further 2,000 per month under contract at Kembe. There are plans to expand the facilities to process 11,000 hides per month when expansion plans are completed.

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Start: 2019-07-01 End: 2019-07-31