“The determination with which we have pursued this achievement makes us particularly proud”. The approval, on Thursday May 28th 2020, of the Leather Decree by the Council of Ministers isn’t only “a very important result”. Gianni Russo, president of UNIC – Italian Tanneries and owner of tannery Russo di Casandrino, believes this to be a legislative decree in which the Italian Association representing tanneries in the nation, never stopped believing. The pursuit required continuous effort and the association “never lost faith even with the numerous obstacles met after the repeal of law n. 8 of 2013, promoted by senator Cosimo Izzo”.
Proud of this achievement
“This legislative decree on the usage of the terms leather and fur, is the result of a very complex course of action – explains Gianni Russo -. The text had been widely shared in 2016 already, but it was necessary to push the bill twice, following the expiration of term of the legislative body”. This temporal interval saw 5 different “parties” in power: Letta, Renzi, Gentiloni, Conte and Conte-bis. “the complexities encountered – explains UNIC’s president – and the various delays, are to be blamed on the brevity of each government’s term. This situation forced UNIC to start over every single time, thus redoing the entire process to promote and support this decree. In the end, though, the perseverance and determination of our association were finally rewarded”.
As far as the administrative profile goes, “we must recognize – comments Mr. Russo – the capability, transparency, attention and effort made by the Ministry for Economic Development, as it has always considered, respected and listened to the need of the industry”. And more: “the new decree also includes provisions regarding to the SSIP (Italian Leather Research Institute), as its president and majority of the board will be selected by our association. SSIP will be able to analyze samples provided by companies to be tested and then certified by the Chamber of Commerce”.
Defending the segment and consumers
The importance of this new decree is clear “for Italy’s tanning segment and the entire leather chains. Now – points out UNIC’s president – the law protects our goods and the Made-in-Italy name. Most of all, it sends a signal to the matter of counterfeiting, to protect consumers and make sure they know what they are buying. The incorrect use of our terms has been, for too long, ground for unfair competition. Now, thanks to this decree, commerce authorities (such as Guardia di Finanza) will be able to reprimand the behavior. UNIC will be quick to signal any suspicious cases to the proper authorities, as well as directly going to court to demand the end of suspicious activities”.
A positive sign
“This stunning achievement – concludes Mr. Russo – comes at a difficult time, very difficult specifically for the economy of Italy’s tanning segment and the country as a whole. But that’s exactly why we must consider it a good sign. We, Italian tanners, have always been to face crisis and eventually bring ourselves out. This time won’t be any different”.
- Italy’s Council of Ministers approves the “Leather” decree
- Italian Cabinet announces the publication of a leather decree