Premium Tobacco charges ahead
Since its creation in 2002, Premium Tobacco has put itself firmly on the tobacco map as a global supplier, providing a comprehensive range of quality tobaccos to its customers.
The company continues to expand. Recently, it established Premium Tobacco Spain and a sales and marketing joint venture with Cooperativa de Tabacaleros de Juyjuy.
In October 2004, Premium Tobacco Holdings and Citland U.K. merged their respective leaf tobacco business interests to create a new Premium Tobacco Asia division. Citland’s strength in Asian sourcing and sales and Premium’s technical and sales strengths are expected to provide a strong base for growth within Asia and elsewhere in the group.
Also in October 2004, Premium Tobacco Asia and India’s ML Group agreed to create a joint venture company in India, Premium Tobacco India. Maddi Venkateswara Rao has been appointed managing director of this company.
The joint venture will be the vehicle for all Premium and ML Group’s Indian exports. It will purchase and process utilizing the ML Group’s existing infrastructure, which will be complemented by the addition of new leaf processing and quality-control resources.
In line with the Premium Group’s strategy of forming equity relationships with committed and experienced companies, the ML Group has acquired a minority shareholding in Premium Tobacco Asia.
Premium has also made its mark in South America. In late November, the Brazilian Sales and Marketing Boards’ Association (ADVB) awarded Premium’s Brazilian operation, Premium Tabacos do Brasil, the top marketing prize in the agribusiness category for 2004. The board recognized Premium for creating a farmer base and installing three buying stations—two in Santa Catarina and one in Parana—in record time.
Premium Tabacos’ leaf processing factory was officially inaugurated on July 8, 2003, after the company had erected and commissioned the buildings and equipment in a record 180 days. Its field operations commenced at the same time by bringing in a highly qualified and experienced team to start building a company farmer base. Currently, Premium Tabacos’field operations division employs 48 people.
The company is ISO 9001-certified and is in the process of qualifying for ISO 14001 and OHSAS 18001.