As Bob Dylan rasped in the 1970s, “the times they are a-changin’,” and that reflection holds just as true today, especially in the tobacco industry.
U.S. flue-cured and burley farmers are adjusting to life after the end of a price support system in place since the 1930s. The buyout signals the end of an era, but gives rise to numerous new uncertainties. How much will contracts pay, and how much will farmers agree to farm for? Will American tobacco exports increase in the coming years? As U.S. farmers receive their contracts for the 2005 season, and as the post-support system settles into place, will farmers see these changes as positive ones? Or will they abandon the now less-profitable tobacco altogether, in favor of more politically correct crops?
One thing’s for sure: U.S.-grown leaf now finds itself contending for shares of an increasingly competitive global market. Recent and major investments in Brazil and several African countries are increasing the marketability of those tobacco crops. Which means that keeping abreast of international news and developments on the leaf front is vital to the future success of U.S. tobacco farmers.
That’s where we come in: SpecComm International, publisher of Tobacco Reporter and several other leading tobacco trade journals, introduces Tobacco Farm Quarterly, the latest addition to our international tobacco industry coverage, geared toward farmers—after all, without farmers, what would the rest of us process, flavor, filter, package, market, sell or smoke?
SpecComm’s no stranger to American tobacco farmers and their needs; we formerly published Flue Cured Tobacco Farmer and Burley Tobacco Farmer. Now, however, changes in the industry dictate changes in our coverage. A growers’ strike in South America or political turmoil in Zimbabwe can directly affect the value and viability of tobacco crops in the USA.
Tobacco Farm Quarterly is your new source of international leaf news. In addition to finding its way to existing Tobacco Reporter subscribers, this magazine will be distributed to thousands of U.S. tobacco farmers. Watch for TFQ every quarter—in February, May, August and November. Our experienced editorial team has selected articles that were prepared recently for Tobacco Reporter, and packaged them here specifically for our U.S. farm audience.
Changing times seem to be prevalent in this issue—note the efforts of Stabilization to reinvent itself following the buyout. Arnold Hamm spoke exclusively with Brandy Brinson and unveils his organization’s plans to manufacture cigarettes and cut rag. Learn about Universal Leaf’s newly expanded research and education facility in Brazil; and find out how tobacco growers in Europe are struggling with changes to their price support system. Brian Harker, ceo of No. 2 leaf merchant, Dimon, discusses his company’s recent merger with No. 3, Standard Commercial—a big change in the leaf sector.
Change. There seems no end in sight. Stay tuned to TFQ for quarterly updates.