Scandicci and the boom of the leather district: the two faces of the coin
We assessed the situation with David Rulli, President of the Leather Section of Confindustria Firenze.
Which factors have led to the recent boom of brand presence in the Scandicci district?
«The space to build new plants and renovate old neglected companies, the support of the municipal administration, the growth and/or the arrival of metal accessory manufacturers, machinery manufacturers and dealers, the proximity to the FI-PI-LI freeway, which consents to reaching Santa Croce, location of many of the most important tanneries in Italy, and the proximity of other historic production areas such as the municipalities of Pontassieve, Rufina, Bagno a Ripoli and Rignano Sull'Arno. All this, combined with the determination of our entrepreneurs and the ability to innovate their work has determined the affirmation of companies with high production quality and has convinced brands to create headquarters in the territory, in order to be close to these companies».
What will the upcoming evolution of the district be?
«The policy of insourcing that many brands are implementing worries all of us, small entrepreneurs. Beyond that, the margins of our companies are increasingly reduced, both because technological innovation requires more and more investment, and because the labour market is “distorted” by the brands themselves: even at the same salary, the second level contracts that they can offer are far superior to what we can afford in the supply chain. In accordance with the brands, an industrial policy for the entire sector and territory would be necessary, meaning that the hourly cost paid to the SMEs would be compatible with the actual disbursement necessary to pay an increasingly specialized workforce and an increasingly driven technology ».