A promising future for forestry in Africa
Since 2013 we have directly funded over 3,400 hectares of forest plantations in Malawi, Mozambique, Tanzania and Zimbabwe, with the objective of achieving a sustainable supply of wood used in the production of all our African tobacco leaf purchases.
Planting these trees decreases the pressures on the indigenous woodland that is being harvested for use in tobacco production. With a sustainable supply of wood, farmers can use wood in the tobacco curing process without damaging the local environment.
In 2019 we took the decision to transfer ownership of the forestry projects to our major leaf suppliers and, building on the platform that has been provided, a promising future awaits.
We are extremely proud of the commitment shown towards this project and there is no doubt that the key outcome of this progress is the demonstration of how forestry should and can be done to support tobacco production in Africa. The strongest legacy that the project can leave behind is the industry’s adoption of standards set in management, silviculture activities and tree survival rates.
We remain financially committed to maintaining the forestry until 2022 and will continue to conduct internal and external auditing which will include verification of survival rates.
Imperial has also financially supported national forestry programmes and as we purchase tobacco will continue to do so in Tanzania, Mozambique and Malawi, promoting the value of trees to farmers.