Tobacco Reporter and BMJ present their annual Golden Leaf Awards.
TR Staff Report
Representatives of Universal Leaf Tobacco Co., Iggesund Paperboard, Amcor Rentsch, Manifattura Italiana Tabacco, Godioli E Bellanti and the EDAPS Consortium collected their 2010 Golden Leaf Award trophies during a festive ceremony in the ballroom of the Royal Gardenia Hotel in Bangalore, India. The event was one of many highlights of the 2010 Global Tobacco Networking Forum, which took place Oct. 4-9.
George Hendrata, CEO of the Golden Leaf Awards’ exclusive sponsor, Indonesian paper manufacturer BMJ, congratulated the recipients on their achievements in areas such as product quality, customer service and corporate social responsibility.
Tobacco Reporter representatives Noel Morris and Elise Rasmussen then called the individual winners on stage and presented them with their trophies. The event was enlivened by spirited Indian dancers, who moved their bodies to the beats of traditional Indian music and more modern tunes such as “Jai Ho” from the Oscar-winning movie Slumdog Millionaire.
This was the fifth edition of the awards program, which was created in 2006 by BMJ and Tobacco Reporter to recognize tobacco companies and their suppliers at a time when recognition for those working in tobacco is in short supply.
The organizers honor companies and individuals in five categories—most impressive service initiative, most promising new product introduction, most exciting newcomer to the industry and most outstanding service to the industry, as well as most committed to quality, an award sponsored by BMJ.
The previous ceremonies were held in Bali (2006), Paris (2007), Rio de Janeiro (2008) and Bangkok (2009). The 2011 Golden Leaf Awards will be presented in Prague during the TABEXPO trade exhibition and Congress.
Please look for entry forms on Tobacco Reporter’s website and in its print edition as of January 2011.
Most impressive public service initiative
Universal Leaf Africa received a Golden Leaf Award in the most impressive public service initiative category for its community-support programs in Mozambique. The company’s social responsibility initiatives comprise a number of areas based upon the needs of each region, such as health, environmental conservation and education.
Mozambique is an important leaf tobacco sourcing area for Universal Leaf. The company has built, repaired, supplied and furnished schools to provide access to elementary and secondary education. Within the last year alone, Universal has built four new schools, along with two teachers’ houses, in Mozambique. Because villages in rural Mozambique tend to be isolated, the provision of teachers’ houses is as fundamental as the construction of the school itself. Good living conditions attract qualified teachers and encourage them to stay.
Two additional schools have been refurbished, creating a good learning environment for about 3,200 students.
In addition, Universal has provided schools with basic needs, such as potable water and proper bathrooms. This eliminates the need to travel long distances to water sources and protects students from exposure to harmful waterborne bacteria, which in turn improves school attendance.
Most exciting newcomer
Manifattura Italiana Tabacco received a Golden Leaf Award in the most exciting newcomer category. Remarkably, while being the “new kid on the block,” the company claims to be the oldest tobacco factory in Europe.
Founded in 1769, Manifattura Italiana Tabacco was previously owned and operated by the Italian tobacco monopoly.
Today, the company has new owners—a group of Italian investors. The company’s mission is to produce high-quality, tailor-made Italian cigarettes. Its strengths are flexibility, “quality without compromise,” substance and style.
Based in Chiaravalle in Italy’s central region of Marche, Manifattura Italiana Tabacco owns three Italian brands—Futura, 821 and Linda. Its flagship brand, Futura, has recently undergone a redesign, and the company is in the process of developing new brands with international appeal.
The company is well-equipped for this task. In addition to a modern primary department with a capacity of 12 million kg per year, it operates a highly automated secondary department with an annual capacity of more than 5 billion cigarettes.
Going forward, Manifattura Italiana Tabacco’s goals are to strengthen its brands domestically and internationally.
“We are proud and excited about this unexpected award—especially because it comes from such a prestigious organization,” says Luca Cecconi, sales manager of Manifattura Italiana Tabacco.
“Manifattura Italiana Tabacco is the oldest cigarette factory in Europe and the biggest independent in Italy. We want to set a new benchmark for made-in-Italy premium cigarettes.
“Tailor-made products, superior quality standards and creativity lead our day-by-day jobs.”
Most outstanding service to the industry
Godioli E Bellanti received a Golden Leaf Award in the most outstanding service to the industry category. Based in Citta di Castello, Italy, the company has been designing, manufacturing and supplying tobacco machinery to customers worldwide since 1923.
Proud to serve the tobacco industry with its tailor-made processing lines and equipment, Godioli E Bellanti’s sales and service are characterized by reliability, quality and competitive pricing. Thanks to these qualities, the company is able to retain existing customers and attract new ones.
To respond to changing customer requirements quickly, Godioli E Bellanti has a flexible structure that allows it to combine the best of its in-house resources with specialized outsourcing.
The company continues to invest in its people, recruiting qualified engineers and technicians to strengthen its lead. Godioli E Bellanti operates a professional international sales network with agents in all countries where a permanent presence is required.
Godioli E Bellanti is also a good corporate citizen. Among other initiatives, it maintains strong relationships with local universities and supports local cultural and sporting events.
CEO and sales director Lorenzo Curina was ecstatic by the news of the award.
Because he was traveling on business at the time of the ceremony, Curina received news through a text message to his telephone. “We were so excited,” he says. “It has been really emotional, calling shareholders, exchanging SMS [messages] with sincere and close friends.”
Godioli E Bellanti immediately added the Golden Leaf Awards logo to its website. “We wanted the world to know that even a company like Godioli E Bellanti—which is not big like the multinationals, but works silently with continuity, commitment quality and professionalism—is appreciated.”
According to Curina, the people that count noticed. “We felt ourselves repaid,” he says. “Hopes and dreams came true.”
BMJ most committed to quality award
The EDAPS Consortium received a Golden Leaf Award in the BMJ most committed to quality category.
The company said it was proud to have won the most prestigious Golden Leaf Award, and that it was ready to prove the quality of its products and solutions on new international markets.
To secure collection of excise duties on tobacco products and protect against counterfeiting, EDAPS has developed a comprehensive solution that uses forgery-proof tax and control stamps with holographic security elements (HSE), combined with a track-and-trace information system.
In the production of the HSEs, EDAPS’ member company, Specialized Enterprise “Holography”, uses state-of-the-art technologies, including electronic lithography and advanced demetallization technology. EDAPS solutions have enabled government agencies to more than double excise tax collections from cigarettes and tobacco products. EDAPS can help the tobacco industry restore revenues being lost through illicit trade.
The quality of the products and the experience of EDAPS on highly secure ID documents and IT systems have been recognized by organizations such as the ICAO, OSCE and Interpol as some of the best in the world. The EDAPS-produced De Beers Diamond Passport provides for the first time a forgery-proof certification of De Beers diamonds and jewelry items.
EDAPS now brings all this experience and knowledge to the world of tobacco products protection.
EDAPS says the Golden Leaf Award will encourage it to continue raising the bar for excellence in quality and security of its products and solutions for the tobacco industry.
Most promising new product
Iggesund Paperboard and packaging converter Amcor-Rentsch won a Golden Leaf Award in the most promising new product category. Iggesund had asked Amcor to design a pack that would challenge its paperboard to the maximum.
Not one to shy away from a challenge, Amcor-Rentsch came up with a complex pack featuring both round corners and unusual curves. Dubbed the “diamond pack,” Amcor-Rentsch’s experimental pack features a whopping 112 crease lines (compared with perhaps 20 for a conventional round-corner pack).
The higher the number of creases, the greater the stress placed on the paperboard. Iggesund’s Invercote paperboard passed the test comfortably.
The diamond pack offers cigarette manufacturers another opportunity to set their products apart in an increasingly crowded marketplace. As regulators restrict advertising and health warnings occupy ever-larger areas of the pack’s real estate, the shape and “feel” of packaging will play an even greater role in establishing brand identity.
“Receiving the Golden Leaf Award was a very pleasant surprise to us,” says Carlo Einarsson, marketing communications director of Iggesund Paperboard. “The award was also a great endorsement of the fact that designer freedom really is important and counts. The Diamond Pack, being round, square and diamond shaped in one, is a great testimonial of an exciting and unconventional packing solution. It looks pretty nice and apparently we are not the only ones who think so!”
Invercote was also used for Tobacco Reporter’s cover this month.