Through the Tobacco Leaders Program, Philip Morris USA and U.S. Smokeless Tobacco Company support contracted growers in several ways including:
- Social Compliance Incentive Programs – We offer targeted incentive programs to help growers achieve GAP Connections certification and to help growers offset costs associated with the H-2A guest worker program;
- Engagement & Communication – Our company representatives visit growers on-farm to develop relationships and provide guidance related to GAP and labor management topics directly;
- Farming mechanization/production innovation – We fund research to develop equipment to reduce growers’ need for hand labor, support production cost efficiencies, and improve tobacco production’s environmental footprint;
- Seed variety research – We support research to develop new tobacco seed varieties to promote sustainable agriculture;
- Universities & agricultural extension programs – We invest in sustainable tobacco production research through land-grant universities. We also contribute funding to develop state tobacco production guides and extension-facilitated annual grower training;
- Educational scholarships – We support tobacco growers' families by providing scholarships to their family members as an investment in the future of tobacco production.
In addition to sourcing most of our tobacco from U.S. farmers, we also buy tobacco from suppliers who purchase tobacco in more than 10 countries, including Brazil, Argentina, Macedonia, and Turkey. We require international and domestic suppliers to design GAP programs with their contracted growers. We then assess those suppliers to make sure GAP programs are in place and communicated to their contracted growers.