Tobacco Farming Series 1: Traceability

Monday, September 28, 2015




TRACEABILITY: The word every tobacco farmer in Zimbabwe needs to know

What is traceability you ask?

Traceability is the ability to trace animals, plants, food products or ingredients throughout the supply chain. In this case, I am going to discuss traceability of the golden leaf—tobacco. Every year this issue comes up for our small-scale farmers and other commercial farmers that sell to the tobacco auction floors. It is one of the major reasons that the farmers keep getting low prices for their crop.


Most of the tobacco grown in Zimbabwe is exported and the overseas customer wants to know everything about where it is coming from. They want to know if the workers are fairly compensated if you are using child labor, if you have any banned chemicals going into the crop, what fertilizers and pesticides went into the crop, and how the crop is handled until the finished product.  Tobacco without this traceability element is becoming more difficult to sell every year, but more of it is grown every year. The buyers know this and so it is part of the reason why they offer the low price for the auction floor tobacco. 

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