This is an opportunity to set up and run a tannery with the potential for organic certification with all the advice, intellectual back up and training needed to help satisfy the rapidly growing demand for a clean, green product world wide without spending most of a lifetime finding out the hard way.
PRODUCTION OF WOOL OR HAIR ON SHEEP, GOATSKINS AND SIMILAR
(NOT COW HIDES, LEATHER OR SMALL SKINS LIKE RABBIT)
This is NOT a DIY process so please don’t ask for courses or a ‘recipe’. It is not a ‘recipe’ but a process which has to accommodate the huge variation in the different skin types.
A Defra license is necessary within GB whether you tan one or 10,000.
There is a very rapidly growing demand for genuine organically produced skins worldwide but where are the tanneries? There are none… well only this one! We need more and quickly.
Large quantities of very valuable skins are being lost because there is no one to tan them. A major asset lost.
Not only is there an urgent need for genuine Organic tanneries, but given the ever increasing cost to the environment; local ones! Well at least on the same Island or Continent.
There are two elements to this business: -
1. Contract tanning including the production of fully certified skins from certified sources.
2. The selection and production of skins to sell.
Approx throughput 2000 skins per year. (Can be 1000 or up to 3000)
N.B. The availability of sheep or other suitable skins is seasonal so they can be acquired and stored for out of season tanning. Well salted skins will keep for a long time.
A full time business employing two or three people or tailored to fit the agricultural seasons.
Included is all the intellectual back up and expertise of 30+ years of experience with ‘hands on’ training.
Advice on Defra rules, health and safety and planning law (GB)
There are Leader funds in place in Powys for one already.
There are likely to be grants available else where in GB and Europe. There are many areas and communities across the world where this technology would benefit the ‘locals’ with local or international funding the process tailored to local conditions.
Are you: -
1. Smallholder or Small Farmer
2. Large Farmer or Estate Owner
3. Abattoir or Butcher
4. Living on an Island
5. A community
6. Member of a Breed Society
7. Member of a Small Holder Group
8. Or someone who has a distinct desire to run or set up an Organic tannery for the benefit of themselves or others.
IT IS A DEFINITE ADVANTAGE TO KNOW ABOUT LIVESTOCK
What is needed: -
A good water supply
Suitable grey water disposal (there is a reed bed here.)
A good electricity supply, not necessarily 3 phase. (We are also working on ‘people power’)
This process will go anywhere in the World as the tannin is available worldwide and the majority of the equipment can either be sourced or made locally.
It is the intention that this invaluable expertise should be made available to as many people as possible without any one incurring massive debt and with enough income for those who are prepared to take the time and effort to learn how to do the job well and are willing to keep learning, with all the intellectual backing and training needed. This is NOT ‘just a job’.
There is no point in asking for a visit at this stage. You will spend most of the time looking at our wonderful view!
If you have an interest in learning more then please contact by email and you will be sent a full prospectus of what is involved including costs. Then we can talk about it.
When this work was started back in the mid ‘70’s I made the erroneous assumption that lamb, goatskins and other similar skins suitable for rugs could be tanned using a tannin derivative, but I could find absolutely no information, so like everyone else I used chemicals, which eventually put me in hospital on oxygen. That experience made me even more determined to create a clean process as all the extensive research proved such a process simply did not exist. This was absolutely vital, not just for me as the producer, but also more importantly for the end user which could be a new born, or even a premature baby or an elderly bed ridden person. Even more important now with the explosion in life style allergies.
It took many, many years to research and develop this process as it has nothing in common with any other process other than the raw materials. As it says in “About Us” long chats with elderly gents cracked it. These chats gave me some basic information but no detail and some of it was inaccurate being ancient history and not used for this application.
Every part of the process had to be researched to produce a product of the highest quality, but at the same time eliminate all the unsafe chemical elements, accepted then and now in all other processes.
If chemicals are used then there are chemical residues. In my naivety I had no concept of just how difficult this would be. Oh boy can it go wrong!!!!
The process is a combination of an art, a craft and science, lateral thinking and common sense which has to accommodate a huge variation in the raw materials; the skins. Research and development never stops.
Once I was satisfied that it was a clean process on all counts that produced the desired results, I approached the relevant bodies for certification. The Soil Association did not have standards. The Biodynamic Agricultural Association, Demeter checked out every part, including how the trees are grown and awarded the process organic certification (UK 6) in 1996, BDAA Organic certificate 323. The SA consulted me some years later to lay down their own standards, again every part of the process was scrutinised and subjected to scientific analysis.
As this is all my own work it was stipulated that the process be considered commercially confidential. The process also complies with SA standards.
There are others claiming to be ‘organic’ where there is no certification, none requested. Why not? Not illegal. As they have not been checked by an independent certification body, there is an evident and serious risk that these processes can and will contain unacceptable elements.. How then can other processes comply with the unknown?
Organically Tanned Sheepskins & Baby Rugs
Telephone: 01989 730615