Tobacco Asia

Volume 20, Number 4

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tobaccoasia 73 stations in Santa Cruz do Sul and in the cities of Canoinhas and Ituporanga (in the State of Santa Catarina). Having made this strategic move, PMB now buys tobacco from 7,000 producers in the region with no middlemen or brokers. The com- pany deals directly with the source – the farmers. "In 2013, the company invested R$113.5 million (US$37 million) to build a brand new more spa- cious factory. The main goal was to unify all the production phases," states PMB's PR report. In 2007, Souza Cruz bet on its growth and built a research and development center, which became the most modern and advanced research unit dedi- cated to tobacco in the world. Known as Regional Product Center Americas, it was part of an expan- sion plan that finalized two years later with an in- vestment of R$130 million in 2009. It is located in a section of the industrial complex located in Ca- choeirinha City (Santa Cruz do Sul region). With a total area of 20,000 sq.m., the so-called "graphic project" is responsible for unifying di- verse phases of tobacco processing. Controlled by British American Tobacco (BAT), Souza Cruz be- came one of the most relevant companies in Latin America. It started its operations in Brazil in 1903, and today it boasts 6,600 employees, 240 direct and indirect jobs, and 30,000 producers integrat- ing the whole production chain, according to the report put out by Fundação Getúlio Vargas Rio de Janeiro Institution. Santa Cruz do Sul's tobacco industry provides thousands of jobs. Santa Cruz do Sul's concentration of tobacco plantations and processing plants have made the region very wealthy.

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