Colba Tannery, one of the major leather export companies in the country, has received quality and environmental management accreditation from a UK based firm. The accreditation has made the tannery one of the four similar companies that have ISO certification.
The tannery which has market destinations in Europe, China and India received the two certifications from ISO Quaar.
Officials of Colba told Capital that they are the only company that has received both accreditations during the same period.
Two months ago the company received an ISO 9001/2008 certificate for their quality management system (QMS) and ISO 14001/2004 for their environmental management system (EMS). The tannery is owned by Ayele Dejene and it has a big export market share when compared to the other 26 tanneries in the country.
The new accreditations will increase their international marketability. According to experts in the leather industry, the quality certification is one of the basic standards to expand leather export, which is continuing to increase in relevance.
The other tanneries that have the accreditation are Ethiopia Tannery, ELICO and Dire.
Over the past few years the government has been working on several activities to support the leather sector in order to make it a major source of hard currency revenue.
The ban of the export of unfinished leather products, the implementation of different leather sector laws and the automation of the leather institute designed to generate professional leather technologists are some of the major activities the government has accomplished.
The government is also working hard to encourage foreign leather export. For instance Hujian, one of the biggest footwear producers in the world based in China and other major companies are producing shoes in Ethiopia.
Ethiopia has a large livestock population but it is still importing raw hides and skins from neighbouring countries.
By the end of the five year Growth and Transformation Plan, which will end in the middle of 2015 the government plans to earn half a billion dollars from leather exports.