Kołodziejczak: Polish cigarettes should contain Polish tobacco

Luc Williams

“We believe that companies operating in Poland, international concerns, should purchase our Polish product,” said the deputy minister at the meeting of the parliamentary committee on agriculture, which discussed the situation on the tobacco market in Poland on Tuesday.

Poland is a leader in the cigarette industry

Poland is the world's largest exporter of tobacco products, revenues from their sales constitute one of the largest items of foreign trade. At the same time, Poland is the world's largest importer of tobacco, and 70 percent domestic raw material is sold abroad – said Kołodziejczak.

Data from the Ministry of Agriculture show that the import of unprocessed tobacco in the period January-November 2023 amounted to 132,000. tons and increased by 4%. y/y. Exports of unprocessed tobacco in the period January-November 2023 amounted to 20.8 thousand. tons and decreased in relation to exports in the period January-November 2022 by 13%. Polish unprocessed tobacco is sold primarily to EU countries, mainly to Germany, Italy and the Benelux countries, but also to developing countries (including . to Turkey, United Arab Emirates).

The deputy minister noted that in the last two purchasing seasons, tobacco prices increased significantly compared to the previous seasons. The average price of the Virginia variety obtained for the period August-December 2023 was PLN 23/kg and was 14% higher. compared to the price in the same period last year. and by 88 percent compared to the prices of this tobacco two years ago. The average price of the Burley variety obtained for the period August-December 2023 was PLN 16.2/kg and was 13% higher. than a year earlier and by 66 percent. compared to the price from 2 years ago.

Kołodziejczak pointed out that in Poland there is a downward trend in both the tobacco cultivation area and the number of tobacco growers, despite the support provided in this sector under the Common Agricultural Policy. At the end of 2023, there were approximately 3.5 thousand registered. growers.

In 2023, the tobacco payment for group I Virginia and for other groups amounted to PLN 3.08/kg – informed the deputy head of the Ministry of Agriculture.

“Why is Poland cutting its own wings?”

The president of the Polish Association of Tobacco Growers in Grudziądz, Roman Neumann, asked the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development to increase subsidy rates. As he said, it was agreed with the EC that the subsidy for the cultivation of Burley tobacco would amount to approximately EUR 2.4, but in fact the ministry subsidized only 30%. this amount. He emphasized that the best form of help for growers would be to increase the subsidy.

However, the director of the Polish Tobacco Growers Association, Przemysław Noworyta, appealed for not implementing the so-called the Tobacco Directive, which would ban the sale of tobacco products with “characteristic” flavors, which would mean eliminating a large part of production. As he said, the government is to address this directive in the second quarter of this year. He noted that the directive had been appealed to the CJEU.

“Why is Poland clipping its own wings, this directive has not been implemented by many countries (…) We believe that we should wait for the CJEU's decision, if it turns out that the directive is consistent with EU law, it will have to be implemented, but we do not have to do it now,” the director emphasized.

Noworyta pointed out that “Polish tobacco is primarily used for shisha (water pipes) and in the production of heated products, which, in the opinion of many growers, is the future for Polish varieties of this raw material.” He noted that “the fact that Polish tobacco is used in heated products is good news (…) this segment will be the future for us.” He added that four tobacco companies are installing production lines for this type of tobacco, which will result in an increase in demand for Polish raw material.

Kołodziejczak agreed that we should not “step out of line” regarding the directive. He admitted that it would also be advisable to talk about this matter with the Minister of Health and the Minister of Finance at a meeting of the Agriculture Committee. The deputy minister announced that a meeting with representatives of tobacco companies will be held next week at the Ministry of Agriculture.

author: Anna Wysoczańska


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