T.C. Energized By Alliance One Reinstating on US Tobacco Market
The Tobacco Commission has said the reinstating of Alliance One Company on the tobacco market in the United States has re-invigorated the commission to continue with efforts for the country’s tobacco to be allowed on the US market.
This follows the lifting of the United States’ ban on country’s tobacco which was imposed last year due to allegations that child labour was involved in producing the leaf, of which only Alliance One Company has been allowed to sell the leaf there.
The Commission’s Chief Executive Officer Kaisi Sadala has said efforts are still ongoing on both the local and international levels, to have the whole ban lifted in the earliest time possible.
Sadala said the commission has conducted sensitization meetings with farmers and all stakeholders, and now has plans to engage the judiciary so that issues of child labour are well enforced in the country.
“This is a welcome development. As a commission, our job now is to continue with massive sensitization meetings. We have already sensitized farmers, police officers, civil society organizations and other stakeholders. We also have plans to engage the judiciary so that issues of child labour are dealt with and laws enforced,” said Sadala.
He said efforts are underway to regain access of Malawi’s tobacco in the USA’s markets.
Alliance One Corporate Affairs Manager Francois Malila has expressed the company’s pleasure, but that the company is not ready with the quantity of the leaf that may be sold this year in America.
“Quantity is what we are working on now. It’s only been a week since we got this communication but what I can tell you is that we were fortunate to have fulfilled what was demanded of us by the US since the ban was imposed, but we have been following agriculture labour practices since 2012,” said Malila.
News of the ban caused panic amongst various stakeholders, creating fears that the country’s tobacco may have no market since the US which is one of the largest buyers of the leaf.
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