JT draws up disaster plan to maintain tobacco output
Japan Tobacco Inc., the world’s third-largest maker of tobacco products by volume, has created a backup program to defend global cigarette supplies if production is harmed by a natural calamity, JT President and Chief Executive Officer Mitsuomi Koizumi said.
During a recent interview Koizumi said that the company has organized a global project team and ended analyzing all measures. The tobacco giant is permanently updating its plan.
Japan Tobacco was obliged to stop cigarette shipments after the earthquake and tsunami on the March 2011, but Koizumi said that the company’s program suggests the covering of more than just domestic production.
“Taking account of natural calamities, the company does not know what is going to happen in any country,” Koizumi said, making reference to the massive flooding in Thailand in 2011.
The program sets which of the company’s 6 domestic and 22 overseas tobacco plants will answer for backups if some plant is affected by a natural calamities, and demonstrates how it will diversify its materials supply, Koizumi said.
To extend overseas sales under the conditions of decreasing domestic demand, a global tobacco company, that owns well known tobacco brands: Winston, Camel, Sobranie, made a change in its main cigarette brand. The company decided to change the name of Mild Seven to Mevius.
The brand name change is deemed to increase sales in some parts of Europe where the word “mild” is considered as mutilating the health dangers of smoking.
To reinforce its line of lower-priced products in the context of the global economic crisis, the tobacco giant has purchased Belgian tobacco maker Gryson NV, famous for its cut tobacco by people who are interested in roll-your-own cigarettes.
Koizumi said that it is very important to improve cigarette brand portfolio for marketing to sell tobacco products under the economic conditions and added that emerging markets can provide a “room for growth» for a premium brand for the long term, given their economic expansion.
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