Materials Science

Applied DNA completes leather supply chain tagging project

Applied DNA Sciences has announced the successful completion of its consortium research project with BLC Leather Technology Centre Limited (BLC) based in the UK.  The aims of the research project were to apply and recover DNA tags throughout the following key processing stages:

  • Apply DNA to animals on a farm and test for recovery when hides were delivered to a tannery
  • Apply DNA at the wet blue stage after initial tanning and test for recovery following leather splitting on both grain leather and drop splits
  • Apply DNA during the leather finishing process and test for DNA recovery.

The research project was successful in every aspect, achieving all objectives. The project was completed on schedule and proved the technical feasibility of DNA marking throughout the leather supply chain using SigNature DNA.

Tony Benson, Applied DNA’s Managing Director with responsibility for Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) commented “We were delighted for the opportunity to prove our technology in the most severe of environments and to work alongside our partners, BLC.  We are especially thankful to the 5 Global brands, 1 non-government organization (NGO) and 2 Tanneries who helped to sponsor this research project and make it a success. Special thanks go to Ms La’Deva McKenzie of BLC and Dr Jo Greenwood, Technical Director EMEA, for their outstanding work.

Dr James Hayward president and CEO of Applied DNA, stated: “Success in this category is a testament to the adaptability of DNA, but more importantly, to the skills of our teams and the strength of our intellectual property. When properly formulated, DNA can survive most manufacturing processes and physicochemical environments.”

Dr. Victoria Addy, Technical Director of BLC said: “We are delighted at the results which exceeded everyone’s expectations.  The potential for this technology to help the leather industry to ensure a fully traceable supply chain cannot be underestimated and we look forward to working with Applied DNA and sponsors in the coming months to see the technology being introduced.”

Barbara Bramble, Vice President of International Conservation and Corporate Strategies for the National Wildlife Federation (NWF) stated: “We are thrilled to co-sponsor this research project, which works towards developing technologies that help increase visibility on the complex traceability issues within leather supply chains. Clarity on the origin of leather can help protect native habitat and wildlife by providing producers and suppliers with the necessary information to follow through on ‘zero-deforestation’ and other supply chain commitments to protect native habitat.”