Review of the 5th Freiberg Leather Days

Marking a new record in number of participants, the 5th Freiberg Leather Days ended on 16th of June. Around 210 delegates from 17 countries were attending the two-day technical conference and there is a concentration of delegates representing companies along the automotive leather supply chain. A number of footwear and leather goods tanners as well as several German and European leather chemical makers are also present.

The venue "Alte Mensa" was offering enough space for the numerous international participants. Its located in the city centre, close to the famous market and municipality building. Once used as a hotel and dance club, it is now a cultural destination of students and the festival hall of the Technical University of Freiberg

Opening session of Dr Beate Haaser, VGCT e.V. chairman, and Prof Dr Michael Stoll, director of FILK, at "Alte Mensa"
With over 210 participants the conference hall was well-filled

Before the technical lectures were started: Michal Wolf, who is working at Südleder GmbH & Co. KG, was presented with the VGCT Promotional Award for the leading student from 2015 tanner class and €500 by President, Dr Beate Haaser of contract tanners, Südleder. The VGCT Promotional Award is awarded to a young person in the German leather industry. 

Furthermore the first three participants of the Freiberg additional qualification "tannery and leather technology" were presented from the "Verband der Deutschen Lederindustrie e.V." as an accredited title "Leather technician".

Michal Wolf, SÜDLEDER GmbH und Co. KG Rehau, was awarded with VGCT´s Promotional Award
Granting the title "Association-recognised Leather Technician" for Ayan Yildirim, Osman Yildirim and Achim Kolesch

The lecture programme of the first day was focused on the future of the European leather industry and research to mold infestation. The second day offered a series of lectures at different process stages of leather production, including for retanning and fatliquoring. Also the mechanical engineering was presented with a number of interesting presentations.

In the afternoon of the first day the participants could choose a guided tour in the mineral exhibition "Terra Mineralia", the silver mine "Reiche Zeche" or through the Freiberg Cathedral. In the evening during the social dinner the possibility was given to meet friends and get new contacts and continue the scientific and technical exchange with colleagues.

During the evening event the VGCT annual prize was awarded: Rudolf Ebeling (Management Heller leather) & Peter Pöppel (former CEO Südleder GmbH & Co. KG) were awarded for their life´s work. The laudatio speakers, Dr Dietrich Tegtmeyer (LANXESS Germany GmbH) and Dr Thomas Feigel (former CEO of Trumpler), paid tribute to the performance and the extremely high level of commitment for the tanning and leather industry of the laureates.

The already 6th Freiberg Leather Days will take place on June 21 and 22, 2017 for the first time abroad. Together wirth the Dutch association NVLST interesting presentations and an attractive programme will be presented in Oisterwijk/ Netherlands. The organizers are already looking forward to their guests from Europe and all over the world.

Prof. Dr Michael Stoll and Martin Heise, new VGCT chairmann, say thank you to Dr Beate Haaser for the longstanding good cooperation
Awarding the annual prize by Martin Heise and Christin Zingelmann, event organisation, to Rudolf Ebeling, right in the picture laudatio speaker Dietrich Tegtmeyer, LANXESS Germany GmbH
Peter Pöppel thanks for his award, in the middle of background: laudatio speaker Dr Thomas Feigel, former managing director of Trumpler