Zim’s agric labour practices charm world tobacco stakeholders

A PRESENTATION on the country’s agriculture labour practices (ALP) got plaudits at this year’s Tobacco Workers Conference (TWC) in Knoxville, Tennessee in United States with stakeholders recommending them for upcoming events such as the Cooperation Centre for Scientific Research Relative to Tobacco (CORESTA) annual conference.

This was said by the Tobacco Industry and Marketing Board (TIMB) sustainability officer Mrs Sheilla Bauren when giving updates on proceedings from the four-day event held from the 15 to 18 January. Zimbabwe was represented by Kutsaga and TIMB.

“TIMB explored the journey towards the adoption of the ALP code, its importance and lessons learned. The presentation was well accepted and recommended for other upcoming events such as the CORESTA annual conference taking place in Edinburgh, Scotland, in October. The country also offered its unique tobacco industry landscape, roles and efforts to promote sustainable tobacco production, market development and economic growth,” she said.

The conference was a significant gathering of industry stakeholders, academic researchers and various organisations relevant to the tobacco industry. It was sponsored by world tobacco buyers such as Altria Client Services, Phillip Morris International, R.J. Reynolds Tobacco, Universal and Lancaster Leaf Tobacco Companies, ITG Brands, US Tobacco Cooperative, Alliance One, Drexel Chemical, JTI, Hail and Cotton, among others.

Among the diverse range of attendees were prominent stakeholders in the tobacco industry such as University of Tennessee Researchers, various chemical companies, tobacco growers, tobacco associations, the CORESTA secretariat, tobacco merchants, tobacco manufacturers, tobacco seed companies and other state universities from the USA.

“The event had a series of insightful presentations that shed light on various aspects of the industry with University of Tennessee Research highlighting their latest findings on tobacco cultivation techniques, disease prevention and improved farming practices. Their research aimed to promote sustainable and environmentally friendly approaches to tobacco farming,” Mrs Bauren added.

Representatives from various chemical companies proffered innovative solutions for crop protection and tobacco curing emphasising on the importance of safe agricultural practices and the use of effective and environmentally friendly products, she said.

Mrs Bauren said tobacco farmers and industry associations had discussions on market demand, regulation, sustainability and the importance of fair trade in the tobacco industry.

She said: “The CORESTA secretariat offered insights on global tobacco trends, quality control measures and industry standards with their visions giving a broader understanding of the global tobacco landscape. Leading tobacco merchants and manufacturers shared their latest product innovations, marketing strategies and efforts to promote responsible tobacco consumption.”

Tobacco seed companies highlighted advancements in tobacco seed genetics, emphasising disease resistance and improved crop yields and their impact on the overall success and profitability of tobacco farming, she continued.

Overall, the TWC provided an excellent platform for industry stakeholders, researchers and organisations to come together, exchange ideas and explore opportunities for growth and innovation. The event facilitated networking, collaboration and knowledge-sharing, ultimately contributing to the advancement and improvement of the tobacco industry.

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