Philip Morris USA to establish pilot program to assist growers in its Tobacco Farmer Partnering Prog
Philip Morris USA (PM USA) reports it will roll out a pilot cost-sharing program to assist eligible burley farmers who participate in the company’s Tobacco Farmer Partnering Program (TFPP) with the purchase of tobacco baling equipment.
“About 80 percent of the tobacco we purchase is grown in the United States, and the success of the tobacco growers with whom we partner is incredibly important to our business,” said Jeanette Hubbard, Philip Morris USA’s vice president of leaf. “This program is one way for us to help growers improve their efficiency and operations while also demonstrating our long-term commitment to them.”
The company has earmarked $1 million for the 2005 pilot program. To become eligible, TFPP growers must complete an application and provide documentation no later than Nov. 1, confirming their purchase of either a big baler or half-baler and their intent to use it in their 2005 TFPP crop deliveries. Eligibility will be on a first-come, first-served basis and will be based on submission of a completed application and the satisfactory delivery of tobacco in either big bales or half-bales. Eligible growers will receive a rebate of $2,500 for their purchase of new big baling equipment, $400 for new equipment that produces half-bales of tobacco or a rebate of 30 percent of the purchase price of used big baling equipment purchased from used equipment merchants. Rebates will be limited to one purchase per eligible grower.
PM USA, in cooperation with its TFPP-receiving station operators, has organized a series of field days in July to interact with thousands of growers and will use the opportunity to provide details about the new rebate program as well as other initiatives. Applications for the program will be available at the field days as well as through PM USA’s receiving station operators.