Around 50 representatives from the leather supply chain and other international organisations attended the final conference organised by Cotance on “Due Diligence for Healthy Workplaces in Tanneries”, which took place at its headquarters in Brussels on October 9.

The conference opened with a welcome speech by Gustavo Gonzalez-Quijano, Secretary General, Cotance (Confederation of National Associations of Tanners and Dressers of the European Community) and was followed by a presentation by Christa Sedlatschek, Director of the European Agency for Safety at Work (EU-OSHA), who presented the healthy workplaces campaign and introduced the OiRA risk assessment tool for tanneries.

Sylvain Lefebvre, Special Adviser to the President of indistriAll-European Trade Union and a social partner of Cotance, stressed the importance of Due Diligence across the whole leather supply chain and how this ‘final’ conference is to present the project, but is in fact, the beginning of their work to improve the social conditions for all workers in the industry, from wages to working conditions. He stressed the importance of communicating Due Diligence to all the staff in any company. “Establishing a norm in a Company is not enough. It is only effective if all the staff accepts it”, said Lefbvre. “This conference is not the end; it is the beginning of the work that we have to do”.

From ILM