How integration and solidarity will get the State of Rio Grande do Sul back on track

10 . MAY . 2024 Releases

May 2024 – The biggest flood in history that hit the State of Rio Grande do Sul in early May and changed the lives of thousands of people is likely to engender worrisome consequences. People from hundreds of municipalities were hit by flash floods and suffered losses, some of them beyond repair. Amid the chaos, solidarity and integration have played a fundamental role in specifying the path to reconstruction. The Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) and all its associate companies have acted accordingly. The following are some of the initiatives taken by them and are being carried out in the midst of this public calamity faced by the State of Rio Grande do Sul, particularly in the Rio Pardo Valley region:

  • No interruption to the remuneration of the employees unable to commute to work due to difficulties caused by flash floods;
  • Donations include Basic Food Baskets, cleaning supplies, hygiene kits and furniture, for both affected collaborators and family members of affected collaborators;
  • Personal loans to collaborators during the reconstruction period;
  • Mental health initiatives, with support from psychologists;
  • Volunteering teams granted a leave of absence in order to join cleaning services that include houses, schools and community areas;
  • The following items were provided: power generators, water tanks, as well as boats and vehicles for rescuing stranded people and animals;
  • Direct contact with public organs responsible for meeting all major demands of the municipalities in their fight against the difficulties.

Most operations of the companies came to a standstill early in the afternoon on Friday, April 30, and were gradually resumed this week. “This is a crisis of an unprecedented degree, in which basic services are in jeopardy, like the lack of drinkable water and scarce communication. Our associate companies refer to the great difficulty in contacting the employees in the impacted regions. Alternative communication channels were put at the disposal of the collaborators, including special forms for them to report their situations”, says SindiTabaco president Iro Schünke.

In addition to handling their employees with care, the industries are figuring out a recovery plan involving the integrated tobacco farmers. “The tobacco sector is acknowledged by agribusiness as a solidly integrated system. It is through this system that we will be able to have a good grasp of the needs of the small scale tobacco farmers in the most affected rural regions. The past tobacco crop was highly profitable, which is very important for this reconstruction moment. The upcoming tobacco crop is in its initial phase and we are going to do a survey to come to grips with the losses that occurred. Just like what happened during the Covid-19 pandemic, we are going to move forward with resilience, joining efforts towards what has to be done”, Schünke comments.

ABOUT SINDITABACO – Founded in 1947, the Interstate Tobacco Industry Union (SindiTabaco) is based in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS), Rio Pardo Valley region, largest tobacco production and processing hub in the world. As a representative of the common interests of the 14 associated companies, the Entity gives visibility to the social and economic importance of the sector for hundreds of municipalities in the South Region of Brazil and promotes a series of initiatives relative to practices that turn Brazilian Tobacco into one of the most demanded worldwide. 


Alliance One Brasil Exportadora de Tabacos Ltda.

ATC – Associated Tobacco Company Brasil Exportação e Importação de Tabaco Ltda.

BAT Brasil

Brasfumo Indústria Brasileira de Fumos S.A.

China Brasil Tabacos Exportadora S.A.

CTA – Continental Tobaccos Alliance S.A.

JTI Processadora de Tabaco do Brasil Ltda.

OTC Comércio e Fabricação de Fumos Ltda.

Philip Morris Brasil Indústria e Comércio Ltda.

Premium Tabacos do Brasil S.A.

ProfiGen do Brasil Ltda.

Tabacos Marasca Ltda.

Universal Leaf Tabacos Ltda.

UTC Brasil Indústria e Comércio de Tabaco Ltda.

TOBACCO IN BRAZIL– The numbers attest to the great importance of tobacco in the agribusiness scenario in South Brazil. Since 1993, Brazil has maintained its position as top global tobacco exporter. According to the Ministry of Development, Industry and Foreign Trade (MDIC/ComexStat), Brazil shipped abroad 512 thousand metric tons of Tobacco in 2023, bringing in revenue of US$ 2.729 billion. In all, 107 countries imported the product, and the highlight was the European Union and accounted for 42% of the total shipments, followed by the Far East (31%), Africa/Middle East (11%), North America (8%) and South America (8%). Belgium, China, the United States and Indonesia continue on the list of major importers. Tobacco’s share in exports reached 0.80% in Brazil, 4.51% in the South Region and, in Rio Grande do Sul, state that is the top producer, it amounted to 11.19%. Know more at

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