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Leather Sourcing Gets One Step Closer to Supply Chain Traceability

Brands and retailers sourcing leather for their products are a step closer to being more equipped to trace the raw material through their supply chains.

That’s because Applied DNA Sciences Inc., a provider of molecular technologies that enable supply chain security, has signed a collaboration agreement with Eurofins BLC Leather Technology Center to support the commercial implementation of Applied DNA’s SigNature T-based leather traceability system.

The signing of the agreement follows the successful completion of a consortium research project with BLC—a leather and chemical testing, consulting, auditing and technology center—announced in May. That project included applying DNA to animals on a farm to test for recovery when hides were delivered to a tannery. It also including applying DNA after initial tanning to test for recovery following leather splitting on both grain leather and drop splits, and applying DNA during the leather finishing process to test for DNA recovery.

Applied DNA said it reached all of its research objectives through the project and that it was able to prove the technical feasibility of DNA marking throughout the leather supply chain using SigNature DNA, the core technology ingredient that is at the heart of a group of uncopyable, security and authentication solutions created by the company.

“This agreement with BLC significantly enhances our position for the commercial implementation of our leather tagging system,” said Dr. James Hayward, president and CEO of Applied DNA. “We already have keen interest in the commercial adoption of our system from several project sponsors. We are targeting a defined goal of having 300 million square feet of DNA-tagged leather under contract over the next five years. BLC’s knowledge in the industry and technical expertise will be invaluable to these efforts.”

Adam Hughes, managing director of Eurofins BLC Leather Technology, said there’s a strong need within the leather industry to provide a robust system of traceability for semi-processed and finished leather.

“This cost-effective application system provides a process for applying a unique molecular tag in a way that is impossible to counterfeit,” Hughes said. “Eurofins BLC looks forward to supporting our customers in their journey towards supply chain transparency and traceability.”