Zenda SA diversifies
Automotive aftermarket leather exports start, footwear upper leather exports planned.
Pretoria (SA) – Automotive leather tannery and cutting plant Zenda South Africa plans to start producing footwear upper leather shortly, for export to China and elsewhere, and to supply local manufacturers.
It also started producing furniture upholstery leather at the beginning of this year.
“Internationally, Zenda produces leather for aircraft, automotive and furniture upholstery, and for footwear, and it has been diversifying into different markets,” said Mario Magnin, former operations manager who took over as MD in May 2011. “Here, we produced only automotive leather, but we’ve been looking to split production into different baskets since I arrived.”
He said automotive leather “is and will remain” Zenda SA’s biggest market.
“Our intention is first to stabilise output, then grow. At the moment 80% of production is automotive leather, the balance furniture. We expect growth to come from furniture and footwear.”
Zenda SA’s capacity is 2 500 hides/day. It is currently producing 8 000 hides/week.
So far furniture leather is being sold to SA customers. “It’s an interesting market,” he said. “We’re also searching all over Africa for customers.”
In 2010 the Uruguay-based Zenda group – previously Branaa – was bought by the Brazilian multinational Marfrig Group, which is Brazil’s 3rd biggest food processing company and the 4th biggest beef producer in the world.
Currently, Zenda Marfrig Group SA sources 70% of its wet blue hides locally, importing the balance from the Marfrig group. “If we reach our capacity, we’ll import more of our wet blue requirements,” he said.
Mario, an Argentinean, joined the industry in 1989, first with Sadesa, then with Arlei, both Argentinean groups. – [Tel: +27 (0)12 810 3500, email: Mario.firstname.lastname@example.org]
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