Alliance One purchases tobacco in Macedonia, Bulgaria, Turkey, Germany, France and Poland. Our regional office is located in Izmir, Turkey and we also have operations located in the United Kingdom, Russia and Switzerland.
Our agronomy programs are focused on improving grower sustainability by increasing grower yields, improving mechanization, reducing the cost of production and improving crop quality. For example, in Bulgaria, we were the pioneer company to replace the traditional, labor-intensive method of packing by introducing farmer boxes in 2006. Although growers were skeptical of this initiative at first, 97% of our growers are now using this method of packing which has reduced risk of NRTM and child labor incidents and increased grower gross margin.
We have made significant progress in reducing the environmental impact of tobacco production on the environment. Our Macedonian waste management program was introduced in 2002 with the goal of reducing the amount of waste that we were sending to landfills. Since moving to our new facility in 2011, our Macedonia origin has recycled more than 355,300 kg of paper, plastic and scrap metal; prevented more than 1,800 kg of hazardous waste from going to the landfill; and collected 6,000 kg of plastic cover from seedbeds and oriental curing tents. Additionally, we were one of the first companies in the country to collect and recycle electrical and electronic waste (e-waste). E-waste includes IT equipment, electronic tools, used batteries and lighting equipment.
For more information about our sustainability programs in Europe, and around the world, check out our sustainability reports.