Increasing the focus on sustainability, with communication campaigns and targeted actions, requesting tax exemption for new samples and education and training activities, and establishing a scientific committee for MICAM. This is the vision of the new Chair, with modernisation and continuity, ever at the service of the footwear businesses.
The Assocalzaturifici General Meeting, which met in Milan this morning during the Assembly of Confindustria Moda, proclaimed Siro Badon, of shoe manufacturer De Robert, as the Chair of Assocalzaturifici for the 2019-2023 four-year period.
The newly elected Chair has outlined a few policies that will steer his mandate: Made in Italy, innovation in the industry, sustainability of the production cycle, focus on the world of trade fairs and dialogue with the institutions: these were just some of the aspects highlighted in his speech.
INNOVATION THROUGH RESEARCH, EDUCATION AND TRAINING
Mr Badon’s policy speech placed the emphasis on innovation, understood both as product research & development and as a focus on education and training and on the need for institutions to do their bit to make it effective, with tax relief and targeted actions.
Research, in particular, characterised by both new production techniques and creativity and fashion content for the creation of new samples, plays a strategic role in the realm of goods made in Italy and must be subject to tax exemption and relief. Training and education is also strategic in order to prevent the loss of professionalism and to make sure the next generation enters the industry with modern skills: to this effect, the Association aims to be the driver of policies for the transfer of skills between the regions and to foster ever-closer relations with Universities and higher technical institutes.
Regional resources, requested through hard lobbying in Italy and Europe, and an increased focus on interprofessional funds shall be the tools giving concrete expression to Assocalzaturifici’s action on the matter of the industry’s professionalisation. The new chair also reaffirmed the desire to strengthen the association’s network of relations in Italy and to deploy targeted actions through research and innovation plans and projects, including as part of the new EU programme for 2021-2027 in partnership with CEC (European Confederation of the Footwear Industry).
SUSTAINABILITY: AN ASSET FOR THE MARKET AND BUSINESSES
Mr Badon reminded those present of how sustainability is one of the biggest challenges of the future, given consumers’ growing sensitivity to this theme, but also considering the need for businesses to save resources, cut down on waste and optimise energy supply.
According to the new chair, it has now become essential for this reason to draw up a strategic plan, in which CIMAC, Research & Development and Education and Training will play a fundamental role within Assocalzaturifici, to help reduce environmental impact and step up the circular economy approach in the fashion industry. The association will also be busy with a communication campaign diffused through international trade fair events, but not only.
In the context of production certification, Mr Badon reaffirmed, in particular, the role of CIMAC as one of the fundamental assets when it comes to the quality of production. He also observed how it should be strengthened, including through cross-cutting partnerships in the fashion industry to build an even more effective network of synergies and services for businesses.
INTERNATIONALISATION AND TRADE FAIRS: THE PIVOTAL ROLE OF MICAM
With regard to market strategies, the newly elected chair announced that the trade fair policies and internationalisation activities will be supported and strengthened, in partnership with the ITA, through promotional and trade missions, scouting on the markets and incoming buyer programmes to present the assets of the Italian footwear industry to international customers: history, tradition, savoir faire, but above all savoir vivre, the Italian way of life.
He then reasserted the Association’s support to promote attendance of the Member Companies at foreign events, with a view to consolidating and boosting the presence of Italian companies on the various markets.
In the context of trade fairs, Mr Badon reminded those present that MICAM is the world’s best showcase of shoes made by small-medium and large Italian companies, announcing the intention to establish a Technical and Scientific Committee made up of representatives from Confindustria Moda, experts from the fashion world, influencers, sociologists, industry consumption analysts and exhibitors. The Committee will constantly interact and discuss with the Chair to make attendance of companies and buyers at the event even more widespread and strategic.
THE IMPORTANCE OF DIALOGUE WITH THE INSTITUTIONS
Following on seamlessly from Assocalzaturifici’s activity over the recent years, the new Chair reaffirmed the commitment and presence of the association in the districts to share the problems of the entrepreneurs and work with them to identify common solutions.
Among the aspects of particular importance for the new chair is the lobbying concerning the importance of Italian-made goods in Italy, in the EU and in all other major footwear-producing countries, so that, with the support of the various industry organisations and Confindustria Moda, common policies and initiatives can be boosted to make the “made in...” label and certificate of product origin mandatory. Assocalzaturifici’s lobbying with the various Italian and European institutions will focus on themes such as cutting the cost of work, in an ongoing collaboration with the Ministry for Foreign Affairs and the Ministry of Economic Development, but also with ITA, SACE and SIMEST.
ABOUT SIRO BADON
Siro Badon was born in Padua and joined the family business - Saonara-based shoe manufacturer De Robert Srl - in 1976, working with his father, who founded the company in 1955, and with his brother Roberto in production management. Later on, he was responsible for the administrative management of the company, of which he became the Chairman in 1986.
Since the 1990s, he has focused on the business area, establishing the company in Northern Europe and embarking on a number of trips to Asia, where he has signed important trade agreements in Japan, Korea, Hong Kong and Taiwan.
For achieving these objectives, which have consolidated De Robert on the international scene, he was awarded the “Marco Polo” prize by Unioncamere del Veneto in 2010, as recognition for the significant internationalisation achieved by a SME.
Among the roles held in institutions and his positions within associations, he was a member of the General Council of Confindustria Venezia Rovigo, he was on the Board of Governors of NeaFidi, Confindustria Padova, Confindustria Veneto, Politecnico Calzaturiero and, at a national level, he was Deputy Chair of Assocalzaturifici in charge of Education and Training for 8 years.
He has been Chair of the Consorzio Maestri Calzaturieri del Brenta [Consortium of Master Shoemakers of Brenta] (ACRiB) since 2011. In the same year, he was unanimously called upon to lead ACRiB, becoming the Consortium's Chair in the year of its 50th anniversary. To ensure its continuity for another 50 years, he has steered ACRiB on the fundamental pathway of system integration with Confindustria Venezia Area Metropolitana di Venezia e Rovigo, for which he is coming to the end of his term as the Chair of ACRiB-Footwear Division.
Milan, 26 June 2019