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Beef to cover hide reductions?

Published: 12 Jun, 2019

With many beef plants around the world, particularly those in the U.S. and Brazil making record profits, maybe it is time they looked to help out the hide and skin trade. Since early 2017 leather consumption has been in sharp decline as consumers have seemingly fallen out of love with the product. Added to this are those that think they are helping animal welfare by boycotting leather products, even though it is just a by-product. As beef consumption rises the gap between supply and demand grows and the world runs the risk of having tens of thousands of hides unused on a weekly basis. Ultimately the problem of what to do with the hides will fall at the door of the slaughterhouses, because if they continue to demand unrealistic prices for the raw material then traders will eventually walk away. Traders have had a tough time for the past two years, battling against tanners who want hides in fewer numbers and at lower price levels. What they did not need is abattoirs, not wanting to follow the market prices down at the same rate as the tanners prices. So, to head off what will become a major headache for the abattoirs, maybe some forward thinking should be applied now. If raw hide prices were reduced from the abattoirs then the traders would continue and be able to make a margin, the tanners will be able to produce leather at a price so affordable that consumers (who ultimately dictate the market) will fall back in love with leather.

Or status quo can remain, and tens of thousands of hides and skins can be sent to landfill or incinerated, both scenarios causing a huge environmental impact, one that will fall squarely at the abattoir door. 

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