16 August 2023

Aviation - Airlines urged to aim for ‘radical traceability’ when sourcing leather

Scottish Leather Group (SLG) has said airlines should pay attention to traceability when sourcing leather, reports Leatherbiz.

Speaking to specialist aviation industry media, the group’s director of hide procurement, Gareth Scott, described “radical traceability” as the cornerstone of ethical leather production.

He explained that airlines, and other companies, are facing pressure to take responsibility for their supply chains and to demonstrate the environmental and social impact of the materials they use.

“Unless the supplier can trace the hide across the entire supply chain, operators will have no valid insight into the product’s ‘hide miles’, the quality of the original rawhide and whether their upstream suppliers such as farms and abattoirs uphold ethical and sustainability standards,” he said.

He argued that Muirhead, the group’s supplier of aviation leather, was able to offer this “radical traceability” because 99% of the hides it uses come from farms in the UK and Ireland, where animal welfare standards are high, keeping “hide miles” to a minimum.

To ensure 100% traceability, Muirhead relies on a government-backed system that operates in tandem with the ‘cattle passport’. Under this system, each hide is allocated a unique identification number at the abattoir. This number captures details of each hide’s origin and stays with the hide throughout the entire leather manufacturing process.

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