Alliance One purchases tobacco in Bangladesh, China, India, Indonesia, Myanmar, Thailand and Vietnam. Our head office for the region is located in Singapore.
In each of these origins, we work as closely with growers as the respective market structure permits to help them understand the principles of Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) and Agricultural Labor Practices (ALP). Improving grower efficiency is a high priority in our Asian origins as we know that reducing the number of labor days a crop requires improves grower profitability and minimizes the potential risk of child labor. From the introduction of handheld rotivators to cutting machines, we have been able to significantly reduce labor days. For example, in Indonesia, through the introduction of mechanization initiatives, we eliminated 128,000 labor days in 2015 for our grower base. The elimination of these labor days, combined with the impact of our CERIA program, had a massive impact in 2015 as the percentage of children of Alliance One-contracted growers attending school was significantly higher than the national average.
Promoting a safe work environment on the farm is another area of focus. Through our group and individual trainings, we have helped growers understand the importance of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) in the prevention of Green Tobacco Sickness as well as how to properly store Crop Protection Agent (CPA) containers and dispose of them after use.
We are also committed to helping ensure the sustainability of the communities where we operate. By providing clean drinking water to the district of Kurnool, we are working to prevent water-borne diseases in India. Water-borne diseases are a significant problem in a region where the demand for water outpaces its availability. Alliance One International worked in cooperation with VST, a local tobacco merchant, to provide reverse osmosis water filtration systems. The locations for these clean water stations were strategically chosen to ensure neighboring villagers have easy access to clean water.
For more information about our sustainability programs in Asia, and around the world, check out our sustainability reports.