Leatherbiz reports that the US Hide, Skin and Leather Association (USHSLA) has launched the US’s first traceability initiative for hides and skins with the target of tracing all material to the meatpacking plant or processing facility.
The voluntary certification programme will provide independently certified traceability back to an identifiable point of origin.
USHSLA president Stephen Sothmann said the initiative is groundbreaking, and "demonstrates the industry’s 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 supplier has adequate procedures, internal controls and record keeping methods in place to ensure the hides and skins originate from a single, identifiable facility.
Buyers of certified traceable hides and skins will 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,” Mr Sothmann added. “This programme will provide additional confidence to its customers, including manufacturers, brands and retailers, about their leather supply chain sourcing.”