LVMH launches the very first standard for responsible crocodilian leather sourcing and rolls it out in three pilot farms

As part of a comprehensive approach of animal husbandry and animal welfare, LVMH takes a pioneering role in the regulation of crocodilian leather sourcing with the launch of a new standard. These new requirements were developed and validated by a committee of technical experts, including the independent organization NSF International. Already three farms supplying Heng Long, a 100 % LVMH tanner based in Singapore, have been certified according to this standard. This certification strengthens the tannery traceability requirements that already exist. The 20 farms assuring supplies to Heng Long in Australia, Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya, the Philippines and the United States will be certified before the end of 2020.

“LVMH has decided to set a new frame of reference by launching a new standard for the industry, whose regulations seemed insufficient to us,” stresses Jean Baptiste Voisin, Strategy Director for the Group and member of the LVMH Executive Committee.

The standard is based on 4 pillars:

  • Preservation of the species and respect for the local communities
  • Animal welfare all along the life stages of the animals
  • Working conditions of men and women on the farms
  • Environment protection

In order to have control over the full supply chain of crocodilian leather, a first major step was taken by the Group in 2011 with the acquisition of Heng Long, a top-quality tannery for crocodile leather.

As the first and only exotic leather tannery, Heng Long has been granted the Leather Working Group (LWG) certification since 2017 because of its respect of the environment and the working conditions offered to its teams. It is recognised and appreciated by the world’s leading groups for luxury goods and supplies the Group’s entities as well as other actors in the sector.

For six years, the tannery has been working with the partner farms, along with scientists and veterinary experts to improve the conditions for breeding crocodilians. The results of these research projects and the texts of the Crocodile Specialist Group of IUCN (International Union for Conservation of Nature) form the basis for the new LVMH standard. The audit protocol was created by a committee of world-renowned experts, including NSF International, which led and facilitated the process based on its expertise in developing livestock production requirements.

Three farms, which supply Heng Long worldwide, have been certified by NSF International. The Group has committed itself to having all farms, supplying Heng Long, certified according to this standard by the end of 2020.

Thus, LVMH ensures that the animal welfare on its farms is respected (handling, veterinary intervention on site, quality of living space and feeding), on top of the 100% traceability of skins back to the farms which was already acquired.

This certification is a part of the Group’s ambitious global strategy encompassing the total animal sourcing which will be unveiled later this year and will complete the LIFE (LVMH Initiatives For the Environment) programme.