Key player in global leather industry has headquarters in Agritech Hub
New Zealand is a key player in the global leather industry and one of the industry’s premier associations is based in the Manawatu Agritech Hub.
New Zealand Leather & Shoe Research Association (LASRA) is owned by its industry clients who process 100% of New Zealand’s hides and deerskins and over 90% of its lamb and sheepskins, mostly for export, providing around $350M p.a. in export earnings to NZ Inc.
It provides research, technology, and consultancy and training services to the hide, skin and leather exporting industry, the footwear manufacturing industry and a number of other related producers.
LASRA’s unique blend of expertise and experience in leather science and technology has made the organisation the Southern Hemisphere’s premier research, technology and training provider for the hide and skin processing, leather and footwear manufacturing industries.
It is the international leader in ovine leather research, reflecting New Zealand’s dominant position as a supplier of some 10% of the material used in global leather garment manufacture.
LASRA’s research also underpins the country’s hide leather exports to countries like Italy where the final artistic touches are applied.
They’re also a leading provider of testing services for safety footwear.
“We house testing facilities that are shared by only a handful of other institutes around the world, such as equipment for testing footwear and clothing for chainsaw resistance and firefighting,” says Scientist Dr Sujay Prabakar
LASRA enjoys strong partnership arrangements with a number of research institutes and universities both within NZ and internationally.
Their current research work is underpinned by contributions from industry and SSIF and Partnership funding from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment.
“We use advanced tools such as synchrotron based X-ray scattering and proteomics to support breakthroughs in understanding changes to the collagen structure and chemical composition of hides and skins to advance leather technology and collagen-based biomaterials,” says Dr Prabakar
LASRA also represents NZ on technical committees developing international standards for leather testing.