ALRS Subcommittee is making arrangements for the defense of the tobacco sector

30 . AUG . 2023 Releases

August 2023 – the 46th Expointer, in the city of Esteio, was the venue chosen for the official delivery of the Final Report made by the Subcommittee for the Defense of the Tobacco Sector and for monitoring COP 10, linked to the Committee of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Cooperativism of the Rio Grande do Sul State Assembly (ALRS), this Tuesday, August 29.

Representatives of the supply chain, authorities, political and entrepreneurial leaderships followed closely the moment when the president of the subcommittee, state deputy Marcus Vinicius, handed over the document to the president of the Committee of Agriculture, Livestock, Fishery and Cooperativism, deputy Luciano Silveira.

The document is the result of a work that lasted 90 days and consisted in collecting information on the sector, coming from public hearings promoted by the Subcommittee  in six municipalities in Rio Grande do Sul – Santa Cruz do Sul, Camaquã, Venâncio Aires, Rio Pardo, Candelária and Arroio do Tigre. The report will be submitted to the approval by the Agriculture Committee, by September 12.

Arrangements suggested by the document: 

1 – Creation of a working group with representatives of farmers, companies, state and municipal governments, with an eye on the effective participation in coming up with the Brazilian stance at COP-10;

2 – Assurance that governments, private and public organs comply with the interpretative declaration of the Framework Convention’s agreement in refraining from jeopardizing free trade and the supply chain;

3 – Refusal of adopting harmful stances or forbidden to farmers and to illicit trade in tobacco products by government organs;

4 – Avoid the implementation of new taxes that increase the burden on the supply chain, during debates on tax reform questions;

5 – Strict implementation of inspection actions and fight against contraband, embezzlement, piracy and counterfeit products of the tobacco sector;

6 – Regulated adoption of new technologies, like heated tobacco and electronic cigarettes containing tobacco nicotine, in order to preserve the supply chain;

7 – Removal of government campaigns that contain false allegations on environmental crimes and improper use of land by tobacco farming activities;

8 – Acknowledgement of the economic and social importance of tobacco by the state parliament through the presentation of Draft Legislation;

9 – Mobilization and participation of parliament and state agents in activities of COP 10 through official missions.

“We refuse to admit that in 2023 deputies are barred from entering the door of an event funded by public money, as occurred in other years. And this is our message to the federal government that here in Rio Grande do Sul we do not accept restrictions to the production of tobacco”, deputy Marcus Vinícius emphasized at the meeting.

The president of the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco), Iro Schünke, attended the event and is optimistic about the demonstration of support for defending the continuity of the production and export of tobacco. In Schünke’s view, the document will be an important tool for the defense of the supply chain. “This is a very positive moment, because it is a democratic moment. All participants had a chance to express their views, all the productive links of the supply chain were listened to, as well as all political parties were given a chance to express their opinions. This walk as an example of democracy and is exactly the opposite of what we have witnessed at all COPs, which I consider to be the worst dictatorship on earth, where our business is debated and we are not allowed to take part”, the official said.

TOBACCO IS AGRO – According to a survey conducted by the Tobacco Growers’ Association of Brazil (Afubra), the 2022/2023 tobacco crop exceeded 605 thousand tons and the commercialization of the product brought in revenue of nearly R$ 11 billion to the 125 thousand tobacco farmers in the South Region of Brazil. Equally, according to Afubra, the average income from a hectare of tobacco is equivalent to the income derived from 6.19 hectares of soybean or 7.55 hectares of corn.

ABOUT COP 10 – The Framework Convention on Tobacco Control (FCTC) was the first health-related treaty in the history of the World Health Organization (WHO). In November, Brazil will attend the 10th Conference of the Parties (COP 10), of FCTC, which will be held in Panamá this year.