Challenges of supplying raw material to the locally established leather and leather products manufacturing industry

  • Tenaw Tegbar Tsega 1,3,4Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  • Klaus-Dieter Thoben 2Faculty of Production Engineering, Integrated Product Development, University of Bremen, Bremen, Germany
  • D.K. Nageswara Rao Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia
  • Bereket Haile Bahir Dar Institute of Technology, Bahir Dar University, Ethiopia


Leather industries in countries with a large raw material base, such as Ethiopia, could contribute significantly to meeting future global demand for leather and leather goods. So far, Ethiopia's leather industry has begun producing leather shoes, jackets, and elegant gloves, which are sold in many developed countries through world-class branded distributors. However, shortage of raw materials has become a major constraint for the industry even if the volume of raw material production is greater than the design capacity of the industry. Therefore, the aim of this study was to investigate the complete process of raw material supply, i.e., starting from the point of production until it reaches the boundaries of tanneries and reveal how the process affects cost, quality, and availability of raw materials. Data were collected through surveys, observations, focus group discussions, and questionnaire. After modeling the existing raw material supplying process and conducting both qualitative and quantitate analysis, this study found that: (i) the existing process fails to collect about 45% of the total available raw material, (ii) the raw material price increases by five-fold when it reaches the tanneries, (iii) it takes 3 to 4 more steps than the standard of reaching raw material to the industry, and (iv) there is a lack of quality control throughout the entire process.. In conclusion, the existing process of raw material supply is a real challenge for the industry. Different interventions suggested by this study could improve the existing conditions.


Journal Identifiers

eISSN: 2312-6019
print ISSN: 1816-3378