This week, on Thursday, January 20, during the Couromoda 2010 trade fair, the Brazilian Industrial Development Agency (ABDI) and the Brazilian Institute for Technology in Leather, Shoes and Artifacts (IBTeC) will sign an agreement of 1.334 million Brazilian reais (US$ 755 million) to implement a project for certification of comfort of Brazilian shoes and safety shoes.
Couromoda is the leading fair for the shoe and accessory industry in Brazil, and will be held from January 18th to 21st in the city of São Paulo.
The agreement’s objective is to increase the products’ added value, so as to foster their international market competitiveness.
The safety segment encompasses shoes used in healthcare, civil construction, metal-mechanical industry and national security. According to a press release issued by the ABDI, the aim of the agreement in this regard is to “increase the competitiveness of Brazilian companies that manufacture safety, protection and occupational shoes, and which seek international markets, in which meeting technical specifications is crucial.”
This niche also includes the oil exploration industry, which will also benefit. “Safety shoes worn at oil drilling platforms demand more effective anti-skid properties,” explains Jorge Boeira, ABDI’s leather and shoes coordinator.
In a press release, he underscores that “in this way, Brazil will become adapted to international standards, which should grant prominence to Brazilian shoes in global markets and encourage the use of more modern material and new engineering technologies.”
According to Boeira, the project is going to fund initiatives ranging from the study of the new regulation to the dissemination of new tests and of technological innovation among suppliers of raw materials and products. Further on, the shoes will be apt to be evaluated based on the new regulation, ensuring that they will become adapted to exports or domestic distribution faster.
The Brazilian shoe comfort certification project is going to be developed in order to increase competence in manufacturing, development of new materials and components, quantification methods and analysis of human walking to provide greater quality.
The idea is to enhance the value of the Brazilian product by means of those actions, and to develop a specific certification for comfortable shoes.
“The project has common objectives with the action schedule of the Production Development Policy (PDP) that has been set for the industry, such as job generation and raising the bar in terms of competitive level,” explains Reginaldo Arcuri, president of the ABDI, in a press release.
Comfort certification is a technology developed by the IBTeC. Marli Aumondi, the Institutional Relations director of the institute, explained that presently, only 60 medium and large companies use the technology, and underscored that the signing of the agreement “makes it possible to convey it to a much larger group of small and medium enterprises, so that they may compete in the international market.”