NZ Leather & Shoe Research Association's science platform

The NZ Leather & Shoe Research Association (LASRA) receives $0.9 million per year for 1 science platform – Export quality hides. On this page is the public statement from our contract with LASRA.

Export quality hides ($0.9M per year)

The Export quality hides Platform aims to grow and secure New Zealand’s hide and skin processing industry. The industry is the primary value outlet for co-products from the meat processing industry and provides significant contribution in export income to the New Zealand economy. However, a range of market challenges threaten the future of the industry if quality, performance and sustainability of the product are unable to keep pace with demands across its diverse export markets.

To meet these rising expectations and demands, Platform research focuses on improvements in quality, environmental sustainability and performance to increase New Zealand’s global competitiveness, maximising the quality and value of each hide and skin, and developing a globally recognised and traceable standard of sustainable production that supports the credentials of the industry.

More specifically the Platform will:

  • Develop processes for leather manufacture which require less reagents and minimise discharge of waste. Alternative reagents and processes will be identified to reduce the environmental impact of leather processing;
  • Analyse genetic markers for meat quality and other traits to quantify their effect on pelt quality;
  • Develop remote sensing technologies which allow features which affect quality to be quantified in real time. A traceability system will be developed to identify the origin of New Zealand products in the market, in support of a chain of custody system. An online database will be developed to allow independent groups to verify origin.

Through improvements in the value of the meat industry’s most valuable co-product, the Platform works to support and develop benefit across the entire farm system by establishing the position of leather as an important component in the future of farming and minimising its contribution to the total carbon footprint.