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Return of the 5th quarter

Published: 15 May, 2019

At one time the hide or skin was regarded by abattoirs as the 5thquarter; in other words, it was not factored into the overall costing when purchasing the cattle from farmers. Or to put it another way, any return on the hide or skin was viewed as a bonus. With abattoirs in many of the major beef producing countries in the world reporting record profits, maybe it is time to return to this philosophy. Worldwide we know that there is a massive imbalance between supply and demand, and with beef consumption rising and leather seemingly going out of fashion this imbalance is set to increase. Abattoirs can take a lead on this by going back to basics and not factoring in the cost of the hide with their original purchase of the animal from the farmers. It seems illogical to still be factoring in a price for something that in many cases will end up hitting balance sheets as a loss. Better to have the hide or skin as purely a bonus. If this scenario were to return, then maybe finished leather could be reduced in price and the public will start to full back in love with it. After all, there is nothing the public like more than what they perceive as a bargain.

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