Having full visibility within the leather supply chain in terms of incoming materials is increasingly important. This is to verify that the upstream inputs are not presenting risks downstream to the retailer or brand. Such risks might include the utilisation of hides from cattle raised on deforested land, unacceptable animal management and welfare systems and the use of toxic chemicals as examples.
Having transparency around these risks provides for proactive management and policy enforcement thereby minimising exposure and brand damage through NGO targeting.
Full traceability relies on good relationships with suppliers and vendors, upstream auditing and monitoring and procurement policies that are aimed around mitigating risk.
Systems are available to support with this. In particular there are systems available to physically stamp hides to provide information regarding animal management and slaughter.