It’s been developed in partnership with Washington State University and Total LandCare, a non-profit organization seeking to improve the livelihoods of smallholder farmers.
Steady progress is being made in Malawi and Tanzania where JTI has long-established relationships with many tobacco growers. More recently the program has been extended to communities in the Philippines.
By late 2010 JTI had helped around 20,000 households in Malawi and Tanzania plant over 8 million trees.
Wood plays an important role in tobacco farming, processing and distribution. It’s the material used to build barns for tobacco curing. It’s a fuel used in the flue-curing process for tobacco leaf. It’s also the natural resource from which product packaging and pallets for transportation are produced.
Farming communities in JTI’s supply chain often rely heavily on wood. They depend on it for building their homes and farms, for cooking and making tools.
Yet in Malawi, forest cover has more than halved over the last four decades, creating fears about the sustainability of wood as a resource.
This has significant consequences for the lifestyles and livelihoods of the farmers JTI works with. Without a ready supply of wood they are less able to sustain their way of living and produce the high volume of quality tobacco that both they and JTI need. So not only does JTI’s investment in reforestation help the environment, it also makes good
JTI’s reforestation program goes beyond planting trees to support communities in a number of other ways too, such as:
Paul Makanza, Director of Corporate Affairs, JTI Tanzania, explains that the broader aim is to ensure people are “not worried about where their next meal is coming from”.
"Every day, on my way to the factory, I see new trees and plants growing. By linking the reforestation work with our energy campaign, we’ve helped to increase awareness of a whole range of environmental factors"
Gurur Asi, Member of the Turkey Reforestation Project team
Another JTI tree planting program is taking place in Turkey, involving JTI employee volunteers. Working in collaboration with the Aegean Forestry Foundation, employees have planted over 21,000 trees and plants since 2003.
The program received a JTI Environment, Health & Safety (EHS) Excellence Award for both the reforestation work itself and the awareness it has built among employees about the importance of sustainability for the business.
The Excellence Awards have been running since 2005, raising awareness and recognizing achievements in the areas of environment, health and safety.