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Government owned Leather Industry Development Institute (LIDI), formed to promote the growth and quality strengthening of the leather sector was awarded the third phase accreditation from the South African National Accreditation System (SANAS) to conduct laboratory tests and issue quality grades for leather products.
These standards are automatically accepted by developed world markets such as the European Union.
Wondu Legesse Director General of LIDI told Capital that the types of tests it can do has reached more than 150, ranging from health effects of leather products to their competitiveness factor with its equipments, the chemicals it uses for testing and its professionals accredited of their competency.
He said his organization is now preparing for the fourth phase accreditation focusing on eco-compliance and shoe testing. Wondu stated that this accreditation would focus its compliance in the environmental sector such as the traceability of heavy metals and its possible consequences on the public’s health and the state of the environment.
LIDI is currently also engaged in an ongoing three year, five million dollars worth twining arrangement with the Indian Central Leather Research Institute (CLRI), that would enable LIDI to be accredited at the world class level.
Back in February 2011 LIDI had passed through the second phase of accreditation for the institute to conduct laboratory tests and issue quality grades for leather products.
The first phase of LIDI’s accreditation for laboratory testing with ISO/IEC 17025 certificate, the main international standard system used by testing and calibration laboratories, was completed in December 2008, by SANAS.
Jean Bakole, Regional Office Director and United Nations Industry Development Organization (UNIDO) representative said he believes LIDI is going to play a big role in not only Ethiopia, but also in the region, underlining the role of South-South Cooperation.
LIDI plans to beef up its capabilities in the near future. Its testing and research laboratory directorate is expected to have 27 modern chemical and physical instruments, with a view to give excellent testing and research support for the leather industries.
SANAS, a non-profit organization funded by the South African government, is the single national accreditation body that provides formal recognition to Laboratories, Certification bodies, Inspection bodies and proficiency testing scheme providers competency to carry out specific tasks. .
LIDI was formed with the main objective of facilitating the development, transfer and enabling of the leather and leather products industries of the country.
The tests the institute allowed to conduct include wholesale flexing, soiling abrasion, soiling adhesion and wholesale flexing with a particular focus on shoes.
The advantages of accreditation is to minimize risks, increase trust in management and quality system, involves continuous improvements, enhance market options and ensures results that are accepted nationally and abroad.