16 May 2024

Brazilian Floods - Industry bodies will work together to help families affected by floods.

Image shows families taking shelter in the Fenac exhibition centre in Novo Hamburgo.

The organisers of the Brazilian Footwear Show have confirmed that the event will go ahead as planned in São Paulo on May 21-23. Report by Leatherbiz.

National footwear industry association Abicalçados and trade show group NürnbergMesse Brasil, joint organisers of the event, made the statement following flooding in the south of Brazil that the authorities have described as the country’s worst in 80 years.

Floods in the state of Rio Grande do Sul and northern Uruguay have led to more than 140 fatalities, with more than 130 people still missing. Around 800 people have been injured. More than 300,000 people have had to leave their homes.

The Fenac exhibition centre in Novo Hamburgo, familiar to many in the leather and footwear industry as the venue for the Fimec exhibition, is among a number of places to have been converted into a temporary shelter and food distribution centre for families affected by the floods.

Because Rio Grande do Sul is an important region for footwear and leather production, there were fears that the Brazilian Footwear Show might be cancelled.

The organisers issued a statement on May 10 to say the event would go ahead, but that it would also serve as a platform to help with rebuilding in the affected areas.

They said Rio Grande do Sul (RS) was home to 24% of Brazil’s footwear production, with more than 1,800 manufacturing companies in the footwear value chain employing 85,000 people there.

“The fair at this time has an even more relevant role for the industry in Rio Grande do Sul,” the organisers of the Brazilian Footwear Show said. “It is fundamental for the continuity of these businesses and, consequently, the maintenance of employment and income for families affected by the catastrophe.”

Abicalçados said it would work with footwear component manufacturers’ association Assintecal and leather industry body CICB to create a new aid programme called Next Steps RS to help manufacturers in the region recover.

One of the initial aims of this programme will be to raise funds to help people who work in leather and footwear re-establish decent living conditions for their families.

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