Zamleather has pledged continued support to the growth of the leather industry in Zambia and called for a crackdown on cattle rustling to help preserve the sector.
The tannery and shoe division of Zambeef – and the company behind the popular Zamshu footwear brand – is committed to continue sourcing hides from local livestock farmers. “Over the years, we’ve been working with about 20 famers from Lusaka, Southern, Central and Copperbelt provinces in our quest to help develop the leather and shoe industry in our country,” said Zamleather General Manager Richard Franklin.
“For over 13 years, our relationship with farmers has been strong, mutually beneficial, and built on trust,” he stressed. Mr Franklin noted that Zamleather had been closely working with farmers to enhance animal skinning and conservation methods.
“As part of our strategy to help develop the leather industry in our country, we’ve constantly been working on improving flaying and preservation techniques with livestock farmers in order to provide for better finished leathers,” he explained.
The Zamleather General Manager also called for stiffer punishment to curb cattle rustling, which he singled out as one of the major threats to the growth of the leather industry in Zambia.
“There is need for stiffer punishment for cattle rustlers if our industry is to develop. Cattle rustling is a crime that has potential to not only hurt the country’s food security, but the country’s footwear industry as well,” he emphasised.
Mr Franklin explained that cattle rustling was responsible for indirectly damaging hides as most farmers used brands for easy animal identification. “Farmers place more brands and bigger brands on their animals to make them easier to identify if stolen. The bigger and more multiple brands damage the hides and reduce their value as leather,” he said. Mr Franklin also emphasised the need for purposeful government support to direct end users to buy locally produced leather goods.
“We are looking forward to the day when everyone in Zambia will wear some form of locally manufactured footwear, made from locally sourced hides. We believe that this vision could quickly become a reality with specific polices and targeted interventions from government; interventions that would make locally manufactured leather products more attractive to the people of Zambia,” he said.