In 2016, Italian tanning accounted for 65% of the value of European production, and 68% of finished skins exported in the Old Continent and sold in non-EU countries. It can boast record on a global scale, where it is the first for production value (19%) and export of finished skins (27%). It’s the data that emerged from the Annual Meeting of UNIC (Italian Tanners’ Association in Milan). On this occasion, the sector has made the budget a challenging year, closed with a drop in both value and production volumes. Critical and ever changing trends of fashion-related destinations (tanning products for leather goods decreased by 7% and those for footwear and clothing by 2%) conditioned by the sector. Positive results, on the other hand, for car interiors (+8%). The early months of 2017 leave hope for a shaky recovery. UNIC mentions its programming lines to guide growth in the sector and associative activities. Among the priorities put forward by President Gianni Russo appear: promoting the alternation of school-work alternatives in tanneries; the growth of the industry through training courses aimed at the preparation of specialised personnel; a firm support for the new generations of tanners. Young people “represent only 13%” of the workforce. For this reason, UNIC is “doing a lot to attract tanning work: collaboration with schools, from elementary to university, events, publications.” The Same opinion comes from members of the Young Tanners Group of UNIC. “Young people can bring to the tanning industry a new vision of things and an acceleration in times and ways of producing. This will ensure continuity in this sector of a long tradition, “commented Teresa Sari of Conceria Martucci of Solofra. “In tannery, there has always been a mix of tradition and innovation. As a youth, you can bring new ideas, while retaining the tradition by getting the highest quality through innovative elements. The industry is very dynamic. There is great dynamism, every day is different from one another, and it is necessary to innovate to stay on the market,” states Marta Lupi of Conceria BCN of Santa Croce sull’Arno.