Tobacco Asia

Volume 19, Number 2

Issue link:

Contents of this Issue


Page 60 of 79

tobaccoasia 61 from seed to box. It can document exactly which farms produced a box of processed tobacco and confirms that it was grown in a manner compliant with ALP and GAP principles. This ensures that customers are supplied with tobacco leaf that was grown with integrity and in compliance with per- tinent legislation. Farm sustainability also requires the backing of local communities. "We will continue our locally and internationally recognized support of schools, clean water projects, medical facilities, micro- financing, and other community programs," said Sikkel. Through community enhancements like health care improvements, education initiatives, and clean water programs, AOI tries to ensure that its efforts benefit not only its producers but also the entire population of the communities in which the company operates. Preserving the planet and its resources for fu- ture generations is a key component of the com- pany's sustainability efforts. For example, AOI's wood resource management strategy is focused not only on implementing reforestation programs but also on helping contracted growers effectively use alternative fuels. AOI's efforts to help growers improve their harvesting and curing techniques, combined with significant reforestation and alter- native fuel programs, have helped the company re- duce its carbon footprint, preserve the native land- scape, and protect the habitat of countless species of wildlife, said Sikkel. "The steps we are taking in our sustainability program are helping to ensure that AOI is creating a better planet for future generations." Alternative Fuel in Indonesia Over the last three decades the dominant fuel used to cure flue-cured tobacco has been kerosene. But existing subsidies of industrial kerosene were elim- inated in 2010, causing many farmers to turn to coal and wood. However, both of these choices led to quality issues, supply chain deficiencies, pol- lution issues, and deforestation. At PT. Alliance One Indonesia, much emphasis has been placed on moving forward with the imple- mentation of sustainable fuel energy. The source has been palm oil kernel shell (POKS), the outer dry shell of the palm seed, a material considered to be waste in the past. POKS is supplied by many dif- ferent areas around the world such as the islands of Sumatra and Borneo. It has proven to have a value in tobacco production. In conjunction with a new furnace system, curing with POKS has led to cost reductions and fuel efficiency savings. Now, 61% of tobacco grown by AOI growers in Indonesia is cured with POKS, and the com- pany expects to be at 90% in 2015 – 50% of AOI growers' furnaces have been converted, and that percentage is expected to be at 100% by 2016. Conversion to a POKS furnace refers to not only the furnace, but also a renovation of the barns, which have to be completely sealed in or- der to optimize the calorific value released inside of the barn. The sealing minimizes temperature variances which helps maintain the quality of the cured leaves. The reason the percentage of farm- ers using POKS is higher than the number of curing barn conversions is that farmers are cur- ing tobacco with POKS but using another type of burner, proving that POKS has been well ac- cepted by the farmers. The POKS furnace system is semi-automated: The inflow of POKS into the furnace is controlled by a hopper/level, increasing the grower's effi- ciency and reducing labor needs. When compared to curing with coal, wood, and non-subsidized kerosene, curing with POKS offers substantial cost savings. "The use of POKS reduces negative environ- mental impacts from tobacco curing in Indone- sia, and the POKS furnace system minimizes the amount of labor that is required," said Laerte Elias Costa, president director, executive of Alliance One Indonesia. "We strongly believe that POKS provides a long-term, sustainable energy source for tobacco growers in Indonesia. Growers are at the heart of the tobacco supply chain, and we are proud to be able to help them improve their pro- ductivity and profitability." Ongoing Sustainability Initiatives in Asia In India, AOI introduced Oriental tobacco grow- ing to a local community. "The land in this area of production is very rocky, without much real soil," said Sikkel. "But we thought we could grow Oriental tobacco there. We contracted with farmers there to grow it, and it has produced satisfactorily." The experi- ence indicated that Oriental could grow in much Crop price negotiations in Indonesia

Articles in this issue

Archives of this issue

view archives of Tobacco Asia - Volume 19, Number 2