Gucci Group has entered into a joint venture with the Montanelli and Boschi families, taking a 51 percent stake in a new company called Blutonic, which will purchase raw hides and skins and tan them to the wet blue stage. Located at Ponte a Egola in the province of Pisa, in the heart of the Tuscan tanning district, the investment in the facility amounts to around €5 million. Production will start up in September, with maximum capacity of 300,000 skins a year, equivalent to 1,300 wet blue skins per day. The premises cover 6,774 square meters over 3 floors. The Italian luxury goods group’s involvement in tanning dates back to 2001, after the mad cow epidemic and foot and mouth disease had caused havoc in the supply chain. Blutonic in fact comes after Gucci’s earlier investment in Caravel of Castelfranco di Sotto, an Italian tannery specialized in exotic skins such as alligator, crocodile and ostrich. The group’s aim is thus to control supply of the raw material but also to control quality. The venture will enable the group to monitor costs and to help smooth out peaks and troughs in times of instability. Blutonic will also do re-tanning, dying and fat liquoring of bovine, ovine and pig skins for third parties.