Leather articles makers are mulling a partnership with Brand Kenya with a view to marking products for export with a unique identity to boost growth.
According to a section of industry players, manufacturers must come together to support formulation of standards to improve local and foreign market sales.
“Kenya needs to create a unified value parameter agreeable to all manufacturers at various levels of the value chain. We need pastoralists to adhere to set herding standards that help improve hides and skins that will later be sent to the tannery.
“Tanneries must in turn agree on the price and quality of leather to be sold to Kenyan leather products makers,” said Leather Apex Secretary-General Beatrice Mwasi last week.
Ms Mwasi was speaking at a day-long workshop on leather branding in Nairobi that brought together several industry players. Speakers during the meeting said sale of poor quality and low priced leather by tanneries adversely affected the quality of finished products, giving them a bad name.
“Tanneries must agree to discard poor leather and only sell quality leather that helps Kenyan made products compete on the global market. This could unlock new markets thereby buildings volumes as well as generating new jobs,” she said.
Kenya Leather Development Council (KLDC) Chief Executive Isaack Noor called on associations, tanneries and vendors to unite in order to lobby for formulation of sector standards.
Mr Noor said that this would create value along the entire chain.
Brand Kenya Acting Chief Executive Floice Mukabana welcomed the setting up of industry-wide standards saying KLDC should be involved in approving the benchmarks to create products fit for the Brand Kenya logo.
Ms Mwasi said that tanneries must also diversify into new products such as camel and fish leather to scale up volumes and variety.