Manufacturing tobacco products is a large-scale global operation and we have factories all over the world.
Our Group companies produce some 684 billion cigarettes through 47 cigarette factories in 40 countries. Four of these and two separate plants also make cigars, roll-your-own tobacco and pipe tobacco.
Inside the factory
When processed tobacco leaf arrives at the factory, it is checked for quality and carefully blended with other ingredients that the brand recipe may call for, such as flavourings or expanded tobacco.
Keeping track of the various types of tobacco and blend components in use is key and computers are increasingly used to track production runs. Moisture content is also crucial. Too dry and the tobacco leaf will crumble; too moist and it may spoil during storage. The blended tobacco is treated with just the right amount of steam and water to make it supple and is then cut into the form used in cigarettes. Excess moisture is then removed so the cut tobacco can be given a final blending and quality check.
The technology has advanced dramatically over the years. Cigarette making, once done entirely by hand, is now almost fully automated, with the cut tobacco, cigarette paper and filters continuously fed into the cigarette-making machines. Quality is a top priority. Each cigarette is automatically quality controlled to ensure that it meets every aspect of its specification.
Packing machines put them into the familiar brand packs, wrap the packs in protective film and group them into cartons and cases. There is more testing at each stage to make sure the cigarettes are properly protected before the completed cases are ready for distribution.
As a multinational business, we work to ensure that our costs are globally competitive and that we use our resources as effectively as possible. To improve productivity and to continue building a sustainable business, our companies have had to take some significant and...