Aspropyrgos, February 27, 2013 - Philip Morris International (PMI) and its affiliate, Papastratos Cigarette Manufacturing Company, announced today that it has reached an agreement with the Greek Government regarding the purchase of Greek oriental tobacco for the next three years. The Cooperation Agreement was signed by the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Athanassios Tsaftaris and the Chief Operating Officer of PMI, Mr. André Calantzopoulos, in the presence of the Prime Minister Mr. Antonis Samaras.
“This Agreement opens a new chapter in the history of our company in Greece and builds on our long-standing presence in this country. It establishes a three-year framework for PMI’s purchases of Greek oriental tobacco and creates a much more predictable economic environment for the country’s 25,000 tobacco farmers and workers,” said Mr. Calantzopoulos.
For the years 2013 to 2015, the Agreement foresees a 20 percent increase in the purchase of Greek oriental tobacco by PMI compared to the past three years.
“PMI has invested approximately 600 million euros in Greece since 2003. In these difficult times and despite the unprecedented crisis that has impacted the country, not only do we remain steadfast in supporting Papastratos, our business partners and the country’s economy, but we are also expanding our business activities,” added Mr. Calantzopoulos.
Mr. Nikitas Theophilopoulos, President and CEO of Papastratos, who was present at the signing of the Agreement, stated,“Today’s agreement is more tangible evidence of the support Papastratos has consistently offered to our country for more than 80 years and of our commitment to further reinforcing our presence in Greece. In 2012 alone we undertook several initiatives to strengthen our business in Greece including our fight against illicit trade, the investment in a new production line for fine-cut-tobacco and a reinforced social contribution program to help those in need. In parallel, at a time when many companies are facing cutbacks, we are maintaining our commitment to our employees without salary and personnel cuts, but on the contrary with merit bonuses for the large majority of our workforce.”
PMI is the world’s leading international tobacco company, with six ot the world’s top 15 international brands and products sold in more than 180 markets. In addition to the manufacture and sale of cigarettes, including Marlboro, the number one global cigarette brand, and other tobacco products, PMI is engaged in the developement and commercialization of Reduced-Risk Products (RRPs). RRPs is the term PMI uses to refer to products with the potential to reduce individual risk and population harm in comparison to smoking cigarettes. Through multidisciplinary capabalities in product development, state-of-the-art facilities, and indusrty-leading scientific substantiation, PMI aims to provide an RRP portfolio that meets a broad spectrum of adult smoker preferences and rigorous regulatory requirements.