AHSLEA is a voluntary trade Association whose membership comprises the major exporters of Australian cattle hides, calf skins, sheep and lamb skins, kangaroo skins and goat skins. The members handle product from raw through to finished however essentially the product would be in the range of raw material through to wet blue material. Members account for approximately 90% of the Australian hide/skin production and in the vicinity of 85% of the exports of raw/wet blue hides/skins.
The Association, as a national body, is a member of the International Council of Hides, Skins and Leather Traders’ Associations (ICHSLTA) and it attends the Annual Meetings of that body. It plays an active role in the business of the Council. In addition the Association is very supportive of the use of the International Contracts for hides/skins and for finished leather and encourages members to use them in their commercial operations.
Association members regularly exhibit at leather trade fairs around the world and AHSLEA provides booth facilities for its members at fairs where there is a particular Australian interest. In this regard, the Association has supported the All China Leather Exhibition Shanghai, since its inception – many members make use of the booth facilities provided by the Association at this Fair. The Association also supports other major leather fairs.
The Association’s members draw hides and skins from an Australian cattle herd which numbers in the vicinity of 28.5 million head at any particular point in time and from a sheep flock of around 75 million head, market and weather conditions of course influence the herd/flock size. Queensland, at around 48%, New South Wales 23% and Victoria 17% are the major cattle States. In respect of sheep/lamb slaughterings, Victoria accounts for slightly over one third thereof (say 40%), followed by New South Wales (24%), South Australia (19%), Western Australia (13%), Queensland (2%) and Tasmania (2%). Victoria accounts for in excess of 42% of the lamb slaughterings.