The 1st International Fur Forum concluded with the interest of the international fur trade turned to Kastoria. The participation of all organisations in the fur sector was spectacular, thus applauding the initiative of the Hellenic Association of Furriers and ushering in a new era for the fur trade.
40 speakers, all important personalities from the fashion and trade sector, who came from Russia, Finland, Denmark, Great Britain, Netherlands, USA, Canada, Italy, Turkey, Greece and China, raised issues regarding production, auctions, the processing and distribution of raw materials, manufacturing, fashion, as well as financial issues.
Ms Tina Jagros, NAFA’s Executive Director said: “In the US there is a new target group of approximately 80,000,000 young people who use technology for their daily communication, spend large amounts on gadgets and with the right approach they can become our clients of tomorrow”. She continued: “our goal must be to approach new markets and free our business from the traditional Russian markets. This is the only way to ensure our sustainability and future as a trade”.
During his participation in the forum, Mr Li Qing Yuan, Vice President of the Chinese Fur Federation and Director General of the Chinese company Beijing Yuanlong Fur & Leather Co. Ltd., proposed the twinning of Kastoria and China’s Yuang Yuan, a city of 300,000 inhabitants that is home to approximately 500 fur companies. The Hellenic Association of Furriers conveyed the proposal to the Municipality of Kastoria and it was accepted by the Major of Kastoria, Mr. Ioannis Tsamisis.
Mr. Vasilis Kardasis, professor at the Royal College of Art in London and Creative Director of Studio NAFA, mentioned how important education and know-how are to the sector, while Ms Thes Tziveli referred to the need to also exploit the raw material in fields other than the garment industry, such as interior design. Mr. Ditsios from Ditsios Bros S.A. highlighted the unbreakable bond between fur and ecology, and underlined how current this bond is today.
The 1st International Fur Forum ended in an enthusiastic atmosphere, establishing the Forum as an annual event with the next one scheduled for 2010 in Canada with the support of the Fur Institute & Fur Council of Canada.
The conclusions of the Forum concern:
- the creation of the Fur Observatory
- the twinning of the cities of Kastoria and Yuang Yuan, China
- actions to adjust the duties between the EU, Russia and China with the aim of achieving the lowest possible tariffs
- the expansion of fur markets and the approach of a new target group aged 13 to 25
- the ecological nature of fur and the backing of the sector in its efforts to fight climate change
- the exploitation of new technologies
- the economic crisis and freeing the sector from it
The far-reaching project of the Hellenic Association of Furriers and flawless organisation of the event have made quite an impression, thus improving the image that the global fur trade had of the Greek fur market. It gave a boost and also established the Forum as an institution of vital importance and an instrument of development that will contribute in various ways to the general improvement of the sector.