Focus on the chain: sustainable calfskins

Our Oukro subsidiary in Apeldoorn processes around 1.5 million calfskins each year, which come primarily from our own slaughterhouses. Oukro handles the initial calfskin processing. Its customers then process the skins further. They may turn them into shoes, bags or clothing.

Oukro’s top priority is to process the calfskins as soon as possible after they arrive. Calfskin can otherwise spoil. That is why the calfskins are preserved using salt. The salt penetrates the skin, which allows it to be stored for longer.  Oukro is trying to improve sustainability by looking for the optimum trade-off between salt consumption and perfect conservation. Using too much salt places a burden on wastewater processing. In addition, our customers need to carry out extra processing to remove the salt from the skins. The aim is therefore to sell as many fresh calfskins as possible without the use of salt. Instead, they are then simply preserved by chilling. This sustainable form of preservation is something our customers appreciate. Currently, Oukro delivers about 20% of the calfskins to its customers fresh and without salt. This also means less salt consumption: in the last few years it has fallen by nearly 9%. 

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