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May 5, 2020

Pandemic forces permanent closure of Hartland tannery

A Hartland leather tannery will close permanently by late summer because of the ongoing health and economic crisis, the plant’s owner said Monday.

The pandemic has hurt demand for Tasman Leather Group’s products, making it infeasible to continue operations at the plant, President Norman Tasman said in a news release.

“The global COVID-19 pandemic has had a devastating impact on the demand for our product, and reinstatement of that demand is uncertain both in timing and magnitude, making continued operations impossible. As a result, we will begin winding down our operations with a goal of closing the plant late summer,” he said.

Tasman Leather Group, part of Louisville, Ky.-based Tasman Industries Inc., is a family-owned processor and supplier of leather for industries including footwear, garments, handbags and military products.

Tasman acquired the Somerset County facility in 2011 from Prime Tanning for $6.5 million. At the time, the hide processing plant employed about 170 people.

Last year, the tannery was fined $48,000 for violating state and federal hazardous waste laws.

Tasman will fill current orders of products that have not yet been shipped from the plant, and will consult with customers about orders that are not yet filled, according to the release.

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