Saturday , May 28 2022

The lack of policy on leather standards has led to an increase in false imports



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De JAMES KARIUKI
More than this author

The lack of a quality standards policy gives consumers of leather products a crude agreement.

Industry players have noted that foreign traders and bag makers switch genuine resin products, giving billions of shillings to the local sector.

This is despite protests across the sector where Kenya exports jobs, income, and allows shoe manufacturers and unscrupulous sacks to sell good quality products marked with "authentic" leather products.

"We have the capacity to provide 40 million pairs of shoes to Kenyans every year, but cheap cheap leather products have proliferated the entire market, making Kenya a dumping ground for fake products that get used up soon after they're bought," said the bearer the word of Kariokor Cobblers Kitheka.

Mister. Kitheka, who has been in the skin for the past 30 years, has said he has participated in various forums with senior government officials, where he agreed to formulate and make standards for leather products.

"Why do we allow resinous products to be sold to the Kenyans and then complain that Kenya is a country of cancer-related diseases." Kebs must be said to refuse any fake product classified as skin, "he told workshop last week convened to launch the Leather Apex Society, a non-state entity that promotes growth in the sector.

Kenya is estimated to lose up to $ 5 billion a year due to poor skin quality, even if the subsector is intended to be a key factor in adding value.

The figure is obtained by estimating the $ 3 billion that would have been earned by primary producers and $ 2 billion that would have been slaughtered by fabrics by exporting high quality products.

A recent study by the World Bank on the leather sector found that the lack of certification services would affect the local growth prospects of the industry, as well-kept imports continued to be sold locally despite the fact that they were not authentic.

"At the end of the value chain production process, leather quality recognition and recognition programs can be developed to innovate and foster competition based on distinct quality and design.

Finally, the application of quality standards can be enhanced, especially for imported products, "said the study entitled Kenya Leather Industry: Diagnosis, Strategy and Action Plan.

The study found that local leather companies that enjoy a global reputation, such as Bata and Sandstorm, have endeavored to increase their production levels to develop their respected brands under the Made in Kenya logo.

"Kenya's Skin Development Council, supported by Kebs, can take a leading role in developing certification standards to guide workers and supervisors training across the whole skin value chain," said the study published in 2015 .

The meeting, which has given concerted efforts to relaunch the local leather industry, has heard that Kenya needs 44 million pairs of shoes every year, but local firms have sold only three million, with 26.7 million imported synthetic leather products.

"Kenya also imports another 15 million used shoes that are sold in the mitumba yards. Our problem is not the market but access to quality leather to make good Kenya products because up to 95% of the semi leather "Made of our fabrics is exported to leather factories for jackets, bags and footwear," said LASK Secretary General Beatrice Mwasi.

Ms. Mwasi added that their main task would be to bring all the players to the table and speak in one voice in search of solutions to their problems.

The meeting has heard that Kenya has to invest in modern industrial machines to make it easier for sweaters and other leather manufacturers to access well-finished items.

Mr Kitheka welcomed the ongoing installation of a joint production facility at Kariokor, Nairobi, to be commissioned in February, saying it would help improve the quality of finished products that were made in the past by hand.

"This will improve the earnings for the 300 Kobiers from Kariokor, who now make sandals that are sold to the East and West Africa," he noted.

The Ethiopian leather industries enjoy the use of modern processing machines that facilitate mass production, where the cost of making a pair of loafer is Sh728 compared to Sh944 in Kenya.

The government is now setting up a 500-acre industrial park in Kinanie, Machakos County, where it invited interested parties to take up space from tanning, leather production to exhibition stands. This could make foreign leather goods producers stimulated to trade with the government, promising to introduce a possible export ban on semi-processed leather.

Data from the National Bureau of Statistics in Kenya shows that slaughterhouses in the country come from an average of 2.2 million cattle and calves each year, while sheep and goats come from 6.4 million.

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