The US Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) today formally launched the US’s first-ever traceability programme for hides and skins. The USHSLA Hide and Skin Traceability Programme is a voluntary certification programme that provides independently certified traceability for all U.S. hides and skins of participating companies back to a single, identifiable point of origin.
“The groundbreaking USHSLA Hide and Skin Traceability Program will, for the first time, establish a standardised, national system with the goal of tracing 100% of US hides and skins to the meatpacking plant or hide/skin processing facility of origin,” said USHSLA President Stephen Sothmann. “The programme demonstrates the industry’s steadfast commitment to transparency and continuous improvement as we seek to build and maintain trust with tanners, manufacturers, brands, retailers and consumers.”
The US Department of Agriculture’s Agricultural Market Service (USDA AMS) will conduct independent audits to certify that a US supplier has adequate procedures, internal controls and record keeping methods in place to ensure the hides and skins it sells originate from a single, identifiable facility – a specific meatpacking plant or a hide/skin processing facility, as aforementioned. All hides and skins produced in the US are eligible to be certified under the program.
Once a facility has been certified to meet one of the traceability standards under the programme, USDA AMS will list the name, contact information and programme certification of the facility on a public AMS website. In addition, USHSLA will list the facility, programme certification and specific product information on its website with the contact information of the U.S. supplier.
Buyers of certified traceable hides and skins under the programme are eligible to receive a Certificate of Origin identifying the facility where the product originated and accreditation information, as listed on the public USDA AMS website. The Certificate of Origin for specific loads of hides and skins that have been further processed into leather may be transferred to downstream customers such as manufacturers, brands and retailers, to help comply with supply chain transparency and security efforts.
“The US hide, skin and leather industry already adheres to some of the most rigorous processing and production standards in the world and is valued for producing a consistent, high-quality supply of hides and skins,” Sothmann added. “This programme further distinguishes the US industry, and will provide additional confidence to its customers, including manufacturers, brands and retailers, about their leather supply chain sourcing.”
For more information about the programme, including auditing procedures, and to obtain an application, visit www.ushsla.org/USHSLA-Traceability-Program.