BRITISH American Tobacco (Nigeria) restates its commitment to global best practice across the entire value chain of tobacco production, including the cultivation of tobacco by farmers in Nigeria.
Mrs. Oluwasoromidayo George, while reacting to published stories of issues of corporate conduct in tobacco cultivation stated that “The principle of good corporate conduct is the basis of our operations. We conform with high standards of behaviour in everything we do. We do not compromise these standards for the sake of profit-making,”
George said the company neither employs children in its operations nor encourages tobacco farmers in the country to use child labour. She stated that the company’s relationship with the farmers is transparent and voluntary, while the interest free loans given to the farmers, she said, is entirely optional and is geared towards assisting them.
George added that BATN has been working with non-governmental organisations, the Ministry of Agriculture and the Ministry of Labour and Productivity, to carry out assessments and monitoring, and engage in workshops with the farmers on child labour and hence the company’s commitment to working with tobacco farmers to eradicate child labour, where in existence remains resolute and this has over time been demonstrated.
She also stated that several initiatives with other government agencies, organized private sector and NGOs are on-going and this includes the pricing negotiation process, where government agencies, the organized private sector and assurance firms who provide assurance on the process, are all involved.
She assured that BAT Nigeria will continue to work with relevant agencies and non-governmental organisations to ensure that best practices are adhered to in the tobacco farms.