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December, 2008

U.S. Tobacco Cooperative

Santa Fe Tobacco turns to wind mills for 100% of electricity needs

Santa Fe - Recently, Santa Fe Natural Tobacco Company, owners of American Spirits, has made the switch to being powered entirely by renewable energy via windmills in both its Oxford, North Carolina manufacturing operations as well as its distribution center in Sparks, Nevada.

Santa Fe has been buying wind-generated electricity for its main location since 2005.

“Purchasing wind-generated electricity costs the company more than electricity generated from conventional sources, such as oil and coal,” says Rick Sanders, President and CEO. “But the benefit of promoting clean and renewable energy was an important factor in our decision.”

Sanders said that this change reflected the company’s values and vision, “We have pioneered sustainable tobacco growing practices with reduced pesticide use and our nearly 20-year-old organic tobacco program. We have long promoted conservation and recycling. Now, even as we use renewable energy to power our entire company, we continue to look for ways to promote sustainability in all that we do.”

This change comes with the help of PNM, the New Mexico utility and FPL Energy, an electric utility company with windmill farms in over 15 states.

Altadis USA and Pacific Cigar Co. hosted an unforgettable evening for
Playboy Cigars

Hong Kong - Recently, Playboy Cigars made its debut at the P&L Club in Hong Kong where Altadis USA and Pacific Cigar Co. released the newest version of the brand.

Playboy Cigar’s slogan is “You never forget your first,” and the presence of Playboy models at the event ensured a memorable experience, playing cards with those who purchased boxes of Playboy cigars and taking pictures with attendees.

The P&L Club is the first members-only cigar club in Hong Kong, and most of its members were present for this event. Eric Piras, Vice President Sales International for Altadis USA, said, “the evening was superb, and this event was different and really exciting. Hong Kong is the first and we’re planning to repeat the concept in more places in Asia and the rest of the world.”

The new Playboy cigar was designed for cigar smokers that were looking for a more full-flavored smoke, and, made at renowned Tabacalera de García in the Dominican Republic, features an Ecuadorian Sumatra wrapper.

It will be available in four sizes: belicoso (HK $140), Churchill (HK $150), robusto (HK $130), and toro (HK $137); packaged in boxes of 24 or in three-packs; and will be available through the following stores: Cigar Emporium, Havana Express TST, Havana Express Soho, Havana Express Peak, Red Chamber, Cohiba Cigar Divan, and Cohiba Atmosphere.

United Kingdom
Governments set to lose US$20 bn in unpaid taxes
London - British American Tobacco (BAT) issued a worldwide statement to governments, saying that this year, US$20 bn in unpaid tobacco taxes and excises will be lost due to counterfeiters and smugglers. BAT estimates that over 335 bn illicit cigarettes will be consumed this year. BAT’s statement also included three areas in which they believe that the WHO’s protocols should be strengthened: stronger laws and tougher penalties, inclusion of stricter regulation of free trade zones in the protocols, and stricter trafficking and tracing measures should be implemented.

Smuggling is not the work of small operators alone, says BAT: “Organized crime is increasingly dominant.  Just one 12 meter freight container with 8.5 mn cigarettes, smuggled into the UK and sold at half the recommended retail price, can net the criminals around US$2 mn in profit.”

“The penalties for smuggling tobacco products are light weight, the risks low and the rewards high - so criminals see no reason to stop it,” said Pat Heneghan, British American Tobacco’s Head of Anti-Illicit Trade. “Most convictions result in a paltry fine or a suspended jail sentence - a slap on the wrist, not a serious deterrent. That’s one of the reasons why illicit trade is growing.”

Regarding the Free Trade zones, BAT said that they are often used as havens for storing illicit tobacco materials, and for shipping them, thereby increasing the manufacturing of pirated cigarettes.

Finally, regarding tracking and tracing, BAT said that “all tobacco manufacturers should introduce effective track and trace systems for their products to keep their supply chains more secure, and that penalties should be imposed if a company is found not to have put supply chain controls in place.”

BAT is currently developing a track-and-trace system that will allow authorities to track its products as it moves from warehouses to customers, and thereby trace back any product leaving the supply chain in a suspect manner.

Tobacco International - December, 2008
SMOKE Magazine - Cigars, Pipes, and life's other desires

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