I am not a great fan of lobbying. Too often it is about businesses failing to realise that change is happening or that uncomfortable science needs to be accepted, and trying to hold society back through the power of their wealth. Sometimes though it is necessary and the little guy makes a breakthrough. The Italian tanners did just that last week. Here is their announcement in full. We congratulate them and ask them to immediately establish a budget to enforce this new law.
UNIC ITALIAN TANNERIES WINS THE BATTLE:
THE COUNCIL OF MINISTERS APPROVES THE ITALIAN DECREE PROTECTING THE TERM “LEATHER”
The new law does not only set out more correct terminology: it also imposes a ban on the use of the terms “leather” (“pelle” e “cuoio” in Italian language) to identify materials not deriving from animals
“A very important result for the Italian tanning sector and for the leather supply chain in general.” This is how UNIC Italian Tanneries announces the approval by the Italian Council of Ministers of the Legislative Decree setting out the new provisions regarding the use of the terms “pelle”, “cuoio e “pelliccia” (leather, hide, fur).
Approval came in the session of yesterday, Thursday 28 May 2020, and, pending publication in the Official Gazette, it marks the conclusion of a long and ongoing process of awareness-raising carried out by UNIC, “which has promoted it since the beginning of the legislative process.”
“The new law – explains the association representing the Italian tanning industry – will finally replace the now obsolete law of 1966. Among other measures, in addition to a more correct definition of the terms “pelle” e “cuoio” and in line with the EU and the technical legislation, the culmination of the association’s long battle to ensure the correct use of leather terminology, it will expressly forbid the use of the words “pelle” e “cuoio”, even as prefixes or suffixes, to identify materials not having animal origin, as we find today with the unorthodox terms faux leather, vegan leather and the like used for synthetic or other alternative materials”.
As stated in the official press release from the Council of Ministers, “the decree contains provisions that exclusively concern the essential composition requirements that the products and objects manufactured with them must satisfy in order to be placed on the market. The aim is to have a clear, unambiguous indication of the materials used and eliminate potential obstacles to proper market operation.”
The new legislative decree, approved following a proposal by the Italian Minister of Economic Development Stefano Patuanelli, also establishes that “the activity of ascertaining any violations will be carried out by the Chambers of Commerce, the Customs Agency, the Finance Police and the Judicial Police, while the Ministry of Economic Development will monitor and coordinate the provisions. Types of behaviour that will be punished include the lack of a label or mark and the use of a label or mark that does not comply with the prescribed requirements.”
Milan, 29 May 2020