USA: Philip Morris's new tobacco purchasing model could reduce child labour, says Human Rights Watch

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6 November 2014

Human Rights Watch says new purchasing model could reduce child labour

Author: Human Rights Watch

"US: Tobacco Giant's Move Could Reduce Child Labor", 5 Nov 2014

The tobacco giant Philip Morris International has adopted a change in policy that could protect many child workers from danger on tobacco farms in the United States. Philip Morris International, which sells Marlboro among other leading cigarette brands, announced on November 5, 2014 that it will begin buying US-grown tobacco exclusively through third-party leaf supply companies, rather than directly from tobacco farmers. This change will require the world’s largest tobacco leaf suppliers – Alliance One International and Universal Corporation – to implement Philip Morris International’s detailed child labor policy on all US farms from which they purchase tobacco. Of the world’s 10 largest tobacco companies, Philip Morris International has the most rigorous standards, prohibiting children under 18 from many of the most hazardous tasks on tobacco farms. “Philip Morris International’s new purchasing model means thousands of US tobacco farms will now need to meet higher child labor standards that should protect children from the most dangerous work in tobacco farming,” said Margaret Wurth, children’s rights researcher at Human Rights Watch. “Philip Morris International should carefully monitor suppliers to ensure they know the rules and follow them.”

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5 November 2014

Philip Morris announces new US tobacco purchasing model

Author: Philip Morris International Inc.

" Philip Morris International Inc. Announces New U.S. Tobacco Purchasing Model", 5 Nov 2014

Philip Morris International Inc. today announced its decision to adopt a new leaf buying model in the United States. The company will transition from directly purchasing tobacco through contracts with U.S. growers to purchasing through two suppliers, Alliance One International Inc. (AOI) and Universal Corporation (Universal). This new purchasing model will take effect on April 1, 2015. “Moving to a new system for leaf purchasing in the U.S. will help us achieve important supply chain efficiencies while remaining a major purchaser of U.S. grown tobacco,” said Nicolas Denis, Vice-President Leaf, PMI.  “While we are changing our approach to buying tobacco in the U.S., PMI’s commitment to improving farm labor conditions on the farms from which we source tobacco has not changed. We require our suppliers to adhere to our practices, principles and standards, including our leading Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP) program. Through supplying leaf to PMI in many markets around the world, AOI and Universal are key partners in our efforts to implement our ALP program on the farms where we source tobacco. With these new U.S. supply agreements even more U.S. tobacco growers will come under PMI’s ALP standards,”said Denis.

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