Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 4

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72 tobaccoasia / Issue 4, 2016 September / October By Kelly Stein In 2016, it truly is no easy task to find a city some- where in this world where everyone embraces the tobacco culture. Yet, this is precisely the case in Santa Cruz do Sul. With its gross per capita in- come 2.5 times larger than the entire state of Rio Grande do Sul, even those who are not huge fans of cigars and cigarettes are celebrating the tobacco industry. The concentration of both plantations and tobacco processing plants in one place made the region very wealthy. According to the city's PR bureau, Santa Cruz do Sul is the third largest em- ployment generating city in Brazil thanks to its thriving tobacco industry. Just a telling example: Philip Morris Brazil (PMB) – an affiliate of Philip Morris International – is alone responsible for a whopping 47.56% of all taxes collected by the mu- nicipality (an average of US$235 million). With an average of 120,000 inhabitants, the city is located 150km (about 93 miles) from Porto Alegre, the capital city of Rio Grande do Sul, and it was built with the profits of this industry. When compared to other cities in the region, Santa Cruz do Sul is an island of prosperity with a literacy rate of around 95%. It holds the biggest concentration of processing plants in the country. Souza Cruz, Philip Morris, and Dimon Tabacos do Brasil (the Dibrell and Tabra fusion) are some of the big play- ers in the region. The city was chosen to host all of PMB's op- erations in 1998, and since then, the profits have been flowing in despite the bad economic and political climate that Brazil has had to face in the last few months. Later, 2010 was the year when the corporation expanded its businesses even fur- ther and acquired three tobacco leaves purchasing Built specially by German immigrants, the small city of 120,000 inhabitants is responsible for a big share of Brazilian tobacco exports – a total of US$2.459 billion in 2014. Santa Cruz do Sul the Brazilian Tobacco Capital Souza Cruz factory in Santa Cruz do Sul. Credit: Souza Cruz

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