Rino Mastrotto: “CRV is a deadly unexpected event, but I have faith”

Rino Mastrotto: “CRV is a deadly unexpected event, but I have faith”

“The conditions with which 2020 began were excellent – remembers Rino Mastrotto -. A good year was expected. There was planning, there was enthusiasm, there was work for everyone”. Then came Coronavirus, “a deadly unexpected event”. Speaking to Il Giornale di Vicenza, the entrepreneur from Veneto, as well as president of the Tanning Section of Confindustria Vicenza, acknowledges that the sector has lost 50% of its turnover in the first five months of the year. But he did not lose faith because of this. “The whole industry of reference for us had stopped: fashion houses, automotive, furniture. It was really a very bad situation. Now we are recovering, I think we can hypothesise to close the year with an overall loss of 30%”.

A deadly unexpected event

The pandemic has blocked the entire leather supply chain. With lockdown, it forced tanneries to close and people to stay home. The effect was immediately seen on the destination compartments of finished leather. In the automotive industry there is already “the tendency to use less leather and to resort to recycled plastic more often”, even if, for Mastrotto, it is a transitory phenomenon: “I frankly believe little in this outlook”. It is more difficult for footwear: “In this business our sector has lost a lot: if once leather counted 80%, now we are at 20% of production capacity”. But even upstream of drums, things did not go better. “We must consider that our companies work with fresh leather – continues Mastrotto -, also because of lower environmental impact. When we had to stop, the damage was really bad. We had agreements with slaughterhouses to collect raw materials, and nothing was done”.

The reasons for trust

Rino Mastrotto does not see, however, the end of Italian leather because of Coronavirus. Indeed, exports, especially to the USA and Asian countries, support the activities. “We can say that our district is not suffering particularly – are his words -. This is and will be an inevitably transitory year. But if things continue to improve a little time by time, and if this pandemic moves towards a resolution, I believe that the situation will get back to normal. At this moment there is concern, it could not be otherwise, but I see the future of leather under the sign of trust”.

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