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Leather Industry News

Buckman board elects 3 new directors

Published: 18th May 2020
Memphis, Tenn., USA (May 18, 2020) – Bulab Holdings, Inc., in its 75th year of business, has announced that 3 new members have been elected by its shareholders to join its board of directors: Robert Buckman (Memphis), Jacqueline Welch (Washington, D.C. Metro) and Gregg Sutherland (Denver). James Shepherd of Vancouver, Canada retired from the board after 12 years. 
 
Robert “Bob” Buckman’s career at Buckman spanned nearly 50 years including a previous tenure on the board. The son of the company’s founder, Stanley Buckman, Bob has held many positions at the company including CEO (1978-2000), director and chairman of the board. He is not only well known as an accomplished leader in the specialty chemical industry but also as a true pioneer in the field of “knowledge management” also known as “knowledge sharing”. He is the author of Building a Knowledge-Driven Organization and has been a long-term board member of the American Productivity & Quality Center (APQC). He is also on the board of trustees at Christian Brothers University. In 1989, Bob launched a knowledge network for Buckman that used computers to widely and quickly transfer knowledge and expertise between global associates. This was enhanced in 1995 when K’Netix was created to further foster a culture of knowledge sharing that continues to this day. Buckman is a graduate of Purdue University and the University of Chicago.
Jacqueline Welch is the chief human resource officer (CHRO) and chief diversity officer (CDO) at Freddie Mac, and the first CHRO and CDO to sit on the Buckman Board. She has more than 20 years of experience in HR, inclusion and diversity strategy and execution both as a consultant with Accenture and Willis Towers Watson (formerly Towers Perrin) and as a corporate executive at companies such as Turner Broadcasting System and Rock-Tenn Company. Jacqueline has been recognized nationally with awards including a “CHRO of the Year” by HRO Today, “Diversity Leader of the Year” and “Women Worth Watching” by the Profiles in Diversity Journal, and the “Breakaway Leadership Award” by Evanta, a Gartner Company. She is a graduate of Syracuse University and the Milano Graduate School.
Gregg Sutherland is a recently retired strategy consulting partner with the global advisory firm Ernst & Young. During his 17 years with E&Y, Gregg assisted clients with the development of growth strategies and the design of operating models to support those strategies. His consulting work encompassed the chemical industry, including extensive work at Dow Chemical, and pulp and paper companies including Kimberly-Clark and International Paper. Gregg has also served in executive roles for product development and strategy, including senior vice president of strategy at Qwest Communications.  Gregg has served as a board member for Colorado Communications and Technology Professionals and Colorado Audubon Society. He is a graduate of the University of Denver and earned his MBA at the Wharton School of Business at the University of Pennsylvania.
"We are pleased to welcome each of these individuals to our board of directors," said Phil Shannon, chairman of the board of Bulab Holdings. "Bob, Jacqueline and Gregg each bring to the board unique experiences, skill sets and careers but more importantly they possess the energy, desire and commitment to help Buckman achieve its ambitious goals. Their backgrounds and track records of delivering exceptional results will be invaluable to Buckman’s future successes.” 
Buckman operates regional manufacturing centers in six countries to support its offerings of specialty chemical-digital solutions along with technical services through 95 countries primarily to the pulp and paper, leather, water treatment and process chemical industries.
The three new directors will join the current directors: Junai Maharaj (Memphis), Kathy Buckman Gibson (Memphis), Phil Shannon (Memphis), Otto Heissenberger (Cincinnati), Larry Shutzberg (Memphis), Edith Kelly-Green (Memphis) and Robert O’Brien (Fort Myers, FL).
 

Robert Buckman

Jacqueline Welch

Gregg Sutherland

Harvest outlook impressive and raises hope for agriculture sector rebound

Published: 1st May 2020
Author: Paul Makube; Senior Agricultural economist at FNB Agri-Business

30 April 2020 – Agriculture received some positive news this week. Firstly, it was the further upward revision to the country’s crops estimates with the South Africa’s Crop Estimates Committee (CEC) pegging the 2019/20 crop 17.52 million tons of grain and oilseed crops which is up 2.6% from March and 31.3% higher year-on-year (y/y). At 15.22 million tons, the maize harvest will be the third largest on record having been raised by 2.8% from the previous month and 35% y/y. Encouragingly, soybean output jumped 1.7% from March despite earlier yield concerns to 1.29 million tons which is up 10% y/y. While the sunflower harvest estimate came in unchanged month-on-month (m/m), it is still 10% up on last year. This is good news for consumers as food inflation is expected to remain contained in particularly the bread and cereals which decelerated by 3.8% y/y during March 2020.


       Secondly, it is inevitable that fuel prices are going to fall in May and all indications are that it will be by a big margin. This comes at the time when harvesting gets in to full swing for the summer crop areas while the winter crop planting season begins. The implications are reduced costs for farmers from planting, harvesting, and distribution bearing in mind that the distribution of agricultural produce is dominated by road transport with over 80% of grain is transported by road.


       Thirdly, the lockdown regulations have been eased and wine can now be transported for the critical export market to ensure that we retain our markets and improve cash flows for producers. After earlier confusion with some of the provinces, the issue of livestock has been clarified and sales can continue unhindered.

Trade stats January-June 2019

Published: 31st Jul 2019

Pretoria, Gauteng, SA (July 31, 2019) – The SA Revenue Services released trade statistics for June 2019 which showed that the value of the value of hides, skins & leather trade - imports and exports - has fallen this year by comparison with last year, while the value of footwear & accessories trade - imports and exports - has increased. The former figures would have been influenced by the global drop in hides and skins prices.
       Hides, skins & leather trade shows a small trade surplus, while footwear & accessories trade shows a large trade deficit.
       Hides, skins & leather exports for June were worth R298 454 569, while imports amounted to R299 038 667 for a trade deficit of R584 098. The cumulative export figure for January-June was R1 744 940 232 by comparison with R2 098 772 313 for the same period last year. The cumulative import figure for January-June was R1 719 019 253 by comparison with R1 723 207 758 for the same period last year.
       Footwear & accessories exports were worth R205 189 052, while imports amounted to R1 310 668 020 for a trade deficit of R853 610 096. The cumulative export figure for January-June was R1 365 842 651 by comparison with R1 310 668 020 for last year. The cumulative import figure for January-June was R6 683 123 167 by comparison with R6 096 803 721 for the same period last year.

D-Day for ostrich industry

Published: 8th Jul 2019

Pretoria, Gauteng, SA – The Competition Tribunal will hear final arguments today in the application by Mosstrich and Klein Karoo International to merge after the Competition Commission earlier this year rejected their application.
       In a release last Monday, the tribunal said:
Two of the largest companies in the ostrich industry are approaching the Tribunal this week in a bid to have a decision by the Commission – to prohibit their merger – reconsidered.
       The Commission earlier prohibited the merger between Mosstrich (Pty) Ltd and Klein Karoo International (Pty) Ltd, after finding that the merger would result in a near monopoly in the market for ostrich meat and feathers. The Commission also found, among others, that the merger was aimed at eliminating competition between the two companies and that they would control the entire value chain of the ostrich industry if the merger was approved.
       However, the companies argue that the proposed transaction is an attempt to stabilize the ostrich industry which is in a state of decline. They submit that there is no incentive for them to exploit the local market. They maintain that the case, on the whole, does not make out a case for prohibition. They also submit, among others, that the proposed merger will aid the survival of the ostrich industry and create jobs.
       The Tribunal is hearing evidence from various witnesses this week including the two companies, competitors/farmers, retailers and economic experts. The matter has been scheduled for hearing this week and final arguments will be heard next Monday, 8 July 2019. 

Lanxess mine strike 'not expected to affect global supply'

Published: 8th Jul 2019
Author: Tony Dickson - S&V Editor

Johannesburg, Gauteng, SA – Chemical company Lanxess, one of the major suppliers globally of chrome used in tanning, told S&V last week that the strike at its Rustenburg chrome mine had ended on June 27 and that production is expected to resume this week.
       It said it "did not expect that the strike would result in a shortage of supply, in South Africa or internationally."

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