After harvesting tobacco, growers “cure” it using air, sun, heat and/or fire. Curing tobacco enhances the leaf’s natural flavor and reduces its moisture content, allowing it to be stored for extended periods. Around the world, growers use a variety of energy sources to cure tobacco. In the U.S., most indirect heating systems use propane or natural gas. In some countries, such as Brazil, growers use wood for curing.
Our tobacco companies are supporting efforts to replenish trees used in the tobacco curing process. Although wood is used in only a small portion of the tobacco purchased by our companies, we invest in programs to re-populate the trees used. For example, in Brazil, Universal Leaf
, a PM USA tobacco supplier, reported that over the past 12 years, it supplied its contracted growers with millions of eucalyptus seedlings, which equate to about 64,000 acres of plantings for woodlots. Growers need wood for curing tobacco and building barns. These woodlots allow them to be self-sufficient for these purposes.