100 years of mimosa: a century of vegetable tanning in South Africa

Cento anni di mimosa: in Sud Africa un secolo di tannini vegetali

The tannery celebrates 100 years of mimosa, the same day as international women’s day. South African NTE Mimosa Extract Company , celebrated 1 century of life. The company is present in over 60 countries with its products, and it’s the eldest producer of mimosa extract in the world. Another history-worth fact is the partnership with Italy that the producer has. NTE and Figli di Guido Lapi, as a matter of fact, have been collaborating since 1951. Here is our interview with NTE’s CEO, Herald Niebuhr (in picture).

Since 1920

“The now NTE Company (Pty) Limited was created with the name Natal Tanning Extract Company Limited on June 30th, 1920 – tells us the manager -. It was a new entity created after the merger between South African Tanning Extract Company with Natal Tanning Extract Company Partnership”. In the years following, tanning was very different than it is today. “initially the extract was only dust, produced for the more traditional tanning processes”.

The evolution

NTE transformed its products by keeping the innovative pace of the tanning segment. “Throughout time, we have had to evolve the more specialized products to satisfy all the specific requirements that com with tanning leather for shoe soles. For example: the re-tanning process, faster absorbing, pre-tanning, improved filling of fibres. And more: changing colors and increased resistance for the automotive industry”.

Green Philosophy

“We are great believers in using natural materials to make leather. We support many initiatives in the segment that promote this type of belief. Our products are made with a natural substance obtained from a renewable source, which respects the environment and is sustainable”.

Business worldwide

NTE is present in 60 countries. “Our main markets are China, India, Bangladesh, Italy, Mexico, Turkey and the United States. Our activity is influenced by cycles present inside the global leather industry. But we have been able to maintain our position in the market via an excellent remote distribution system. As well as, of course, a proven quality of the products, supported by technical assistance and post-sale service”.

100 years strong

“Our company is the oldest producer of mimosa extract in the world, the largest in Africa and one of the largest at a global level. This is our strength and for this reason we have chosen the motto “100 years strong”. The company was able to celebrate its 100th year of activity because it was able to evolve and adapt, throughout time, to the many internal changes that took place within the global leather industry.

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