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Philip Morris International signs a new three-year Agreement with Greek government for the purchase of Greek oriental tobacco and announces that Papastratos will head a cluster of markets including Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus, Malta and Greece

Aspropyrgos, February 24, 2016 - Philip Morris International (PMI) and its affiliate, Papastratos Cigarette Manufacturing Company, announced today a Cooperation Agreement with the Greek Government for the purchase of Greek oriental tobacco for the next three years. In the presence of the Prime Minister Mr. Alexis Tsipras, the Minister of Agriculture Mr. Vaggelis Apostolou and the Chief Executive Officer of PMI, Mr. André Calantzopoulos signed the Αgreement.

Minister of Agriculture, Vaggelis Apostolou, stated after the signing of the Agreement: “Today’s Agreement between the Ministry of Agriculture and Philip Morris International seals the multinational company’s intention to purchase from Greek tobacco growers 30,000 tons of tobacco in the period 2016-2018 as well as the Ministry’s commitment to implement policies that will make the Greek oriental tobacco production competitive and of a high quality at an international level. It is a clear case of private and public sector cooperation that will bring about significant benefits to all parties and that is supporting to the collective activation and representation of farmers; most of all it adds value to the efforts of the Greek tobacco grower”.

“With today’s Agreement of Cooperation, Philip Morris International commits to continuing to purchase in the next three years significant volumes of the Greek oriental tobacco. This Agreement reinforces the predictability of the economic environment for the country’s 30,000 tobacco farmers and workers and will help insure sufficient volumes of exceptional quality tobacco for PMI’s worldwide operations. In these hard times, we remain steadfast in supporting the economy of the country and in exploring more business opportunities,” said Mr. Calantzopoulos.

It is of equal importance that the Agreement guarantees continuous improvement of the Greek oriental tobacco production through a number of programs, mechanization of the harvest, high yield varieties, innovative curing systems as well as training of tobacco growers.  

“Philip Morris International and Papastratos have a longstanding history in Greece to support the Greek tobacco community and the Greek economy and society having invested approximately 700 million euros since 2003. Furthermore, as Greece and Papastratos are significant for Philip Morris International, I was happy to announce to the Prime Minister that Papastratos will head a cluster of markets including Romania, Bulgaria, Cyprus and Malta,” added Mr. Calantzopoulos.

Mr. Christos Harpantidis, President and CEO of Papastratos, who was present at the ceremony, stated, This Agreement gives to the Greek oriental tobacco farmers a certain level of security, which is very important to them in these difficult times. It is yet another proof that Papastratos cares about and supports our country as it has the last 85 years. With all our actions, we aim to reinforce our presence in Greece but also to further support the country and the Greek society.  The last few years we have proceeded with significant investments and initiatives including our fight against illicit trade, the investment in new production lines and increased exports as well as our reinforced social contributions program to help those in need. We hope that we will be able to inspire other big companies so that all together we can build a better future for the country.”

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