Value addition key to leather sector growth

ZAMLEATHER general manager Richard Franklin says regional integration and local value addition are needed to develop Zambia’s leather sector.
Mr Franklin said Zambia’s leather industry is still untapped despite having the potential to further develop.
He said this when a delegation from the Southern African Footwear and Leather Export Council (SAFLEC) toured the factory to learn more about Zambeef’s drive to build the local and regional footwear industry.
“We are keen to see growth within the leather industry and by adding value to our raw materials, we will be able to compete better. This is why trade exchange programmes like these are important and there is a lot we can learn from each other to better strengthen the sector,” he said.
Mr Franklin also said there is need to encourage people to buy locally manufactured shoes and other leather goods.
He said Zambia’s market for leather products has responded positively and the firm has since doubled production of shoes to 6,000 hides per month at the Lusaka tannery and a further 2,000 per month under contract at Kembe.
The firm plans to expand the facilities to process 10,000 hides per month at the beginning of 2016.
At the same event, SAFLEC chairperson Sanjay Pattundeen said there is vast potential for growth in the leather industry and that South Africa has only recently become competitive in the sector with Zambia being one of the main export destinations for shoes and other leather products.
The SAFLEC group was in Zambia for the Southern African Footwear and Leather Zambian Expo 2015, where they toured the Zamleather tannery and shoe factory to understand the structure of the leather industry and identify opportunities.

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