SATRA remains open during the coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic and has organised additional online resources and a special webinar programme
FIMEC forum and exhibition held in Brazil
Reporting on a successful South American footwear show – one of the last to go ahead before such international events faced a coronavirus clampdown.
Despite many organisers of events dedicated to the footwear and leather industries taking the difficult decision to postpone their shows due to the escalating global COVID-19 outbreak, it was still possible for the FIMEC forum and exhibition in the Brazilian city of Novo Hamburgo to go ahead from 10th to 12th March.
The FIMEC exhibition typically attracts visitors from some 30 countries and is designed to bring together the entire leather and footwear value chain – from materials to production. Providers of leather, chemicals, components, logistics, machinery and innovation and technology are normally represented.
This event is considered to be the largest exhibition of its kind in Latin America and has been held without interruption for 40 annual editions, so the organising body FENAC were determined to take every precaution possible to enable it to go ahead in 2020. Unfortunately, due to the coronavirus already spreading through China and Italy, companies from these countries were unable to participate, or had to rely on local Brazilian agents to represent them.
Unity in action
According to FENAC chief executive Marcio Jung, FIMEC 2020 highlighted the strength of companies when they unite. “We all work together to bring the largest number of visitors to this
edition of FIMEC, and in the condition we are in, we can celebrate an excellent buying visit. This is a moment that strengthens our sector, which is self-sufficient,” he said.
The decision to go ahead and hold the exhibition and forum was also supported by many industry key figures and associations. Paulo Griebeler, executive president of SATRA member IBTeC, commented: “We had very positive results. From a contact we made at the fair, IBTeC has already had a return beyond all its investment in this edition of FIMEC”.
SATRA has been a regular exhibitor at FIMEC and were once again present at the show. Visitors to the stand were able to discuss the assistance that could be given to improve footwear quality, as well as steps that safety footwear companies needed to take to certify their products. In addition, SATRA assistant director Christine Powley-Williams was invited to be the keynote international speaker at the forum which was held in conjunction with FIMEC. Her presentation, on the subject of ‘innovation in footwear comfort’, emphasised the importance of the three key factors that affect comfort – fit, thermo-physiological properties (foot temperature and sweat management) and underfoot cushioning and support. In addition, information was included on SATRA’s new Digital Last Assessment service. Christine also introduce the fitting aids which will soon be launched by SATRA’s innovation and development team on the Latin American market.
The photograph above shows SATRA assistant director Christine Powley-Williams, who was the keynote international speaker at the FIMEC forum.
This article was originally published on page 12 of the May 2020 issue of SATRA Bulletin.