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Established in 1904, Elkem is one of the world's leaders in fully integrated silicone manufacturing with operations throughout the silicone value chain from quartz – from which silicone is obtained -- to downstream silicone specialties. Headquartered in Oslo, the company’s 27 production sites around the world ensure proximity to customers and serve very diverse markets, from energy to cosmetics, from electronics to automotive manufacturing, construction, health and personal care. Extremely versatile, silicones are widely used in people’s daily lives and in countless applications.
It is in such areas that we have seen a near tsunami of articles blaming cattle for climate change. These began in 2006 when the FAO published Livestock’s Long Shadow which looked at the environmental impact of livestock. To maximise the publicity for it the press release chose headlines that argued that livestock’s impact was greater than transport.
With a commercial network spreading over 60 countries around the world and a total turnover of over 140 million euros, the Italian company Silvateam is the world leader in the production, extraction and commercialization of vegetable extracts, tannins and their derivatives. Today, it is benefitting greatly from the renewed interest in vegetable leather tanning, which had fallen in obsolescence but is now back into favour as it is deemed less harmful and less polluting than chrome tanning. This is a trend cheerfully endorsed by Antonio Battaglia, the company’s Leather Division Director and descendant of the founder.
One of the highlights of the 22nd edition of the All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) in Shanghai was the large shared joint booth of the Chinese Henan Prosper and the Spanish company Colomer. The two had been collaborating since 1994, until in 2009 Henan Prosper acquired the finished leather operations of the 100-year old Spanish enterprise and moved their production facilities to China. Today only the trading operations remain in Spain while research and development as well as production all take place in China.
The All China Leather Exhibition (ACLE) took place in early September amid the announcement of China’s latest round of retaliatory tariffs toward the US. These new tariffs may mostly affect China’s salted and wet blue hide imports. The continuous escalation of China-US economic and trade frictions have greatly harmed the worldwide economy including the leather industries of China, the US as well as of other countries. However, as always the industry is resilient and optimistic, as expressed by ACLE’s exhibitors who have demonstrated remarkable ingenuity in shouldering the crisis.
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