The pandemic has been a rather unexpected (and unpredictable) blow deeply affecting Italian leather tanning industry throughout 2020. Yet, however, CRV has not prevailed. Gianni Russo, President of UNIC – Italian Tanneries and owner of Russo di Casandrino, based in Campania, is sure about that. “The pandemic will have some lasting effects for a long while in the future – he told Orticalab portal –. Strength, enthusiasm, awareness alongside a sound competitive attitude are the main ingredients to recover from the present crisis”.
CRV has not prevailed
“Nobody, even if he had an extremely bright imagination, could ever predict such a surreal situation like the one we are currently dealing with”. Going back to last February, Russo admitted that Coronavirus emergency was indeed an unpredictable blow. “All of us have been caught by surprise.
It turned out to be something shocking and unprecedented: despite that, our entrepreneurial skills, distinctly Italian, have come out thoroughly and we successfully managed to tackle the pandemic”. Right our talent and savoir faire well secure Italian leadership. “The pandemic could not have possibly questioned such role – he continued – since we account for 65% of Europe’s industry production”.
An unusual spring-summer
“In order to deal with the present crisis, anyway, we had to reach the end of our portfolio of orders, previously set prior to lockdown – claimed Russo while recalling the months of this unusual spring-summer season –. Then we had to face an expected stop: that was the time crisis repercussions most hit our business. Afterwards, we could enjoy a recovery, to some extent, thanks to China’s reopening alongside consolidated online sales”. Still we cannot say that the worst is behind us: “We will be able to enjoy a tangible recovery in the second half-year period of 2021 – he commented –. According to estimates, at the end of the year downturn in revenues will amount to 25 to 30%”.
The line to pursue
“We must keep working on research aiming to provide, every time, new products, new ideas and, most of all, new manufacturing processes – remarked the Neapolitan entrepreneur, honoured with the title of Cavaliere del Lavoro –. CRV clearly showed us that we must improve, more and more, sustainability-related aspects, therefore enhancing customer service and remote trade exchange”.
The District of Solofra is currently dealing with an additional issue right in their local area. “The river Sarno is polluted, no doubts about it – acknowledged Russo –, but the real problem is, first and foremost, downline of the district, where several canning industries are still carrying out their own activity. In other words, they must stop criminalising factories and plants based in Solofra”.
A Mediterranean project
On top of that, he tells about “a dream”: to create a “Mediterranean district”. “I am personally mad for it – explained UNIC President –, after sharing perspectives, plenty of times, with my Spanish and French colleagues. Together we account for about 80% of European production. I believe that such partnerships, like a European association of tanners, headquartered in Brussels, may work as a turning point for the days to come.
Yet we are talking about mid-term and long-term ideas and projects”. In the meantime, wrapped up Russo, “UNIC keeps striving hard to create particularly valuable partnerships such as the one they signed with the Stazione Sperimentale (the Italian Leather Research Institute) and the Distretto dell’Appennino meridionale (the District of the South Apennine mountains). This project on sustainability relies on a great deal of bond and a great potential, made of real research, precious advisory support, focused analysis and profitable meetings to share our standpoints. A consistent dialogue which is supposed to go on forever”.
In the picture, a screenshot of orticalab.it portal