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Tobacco sector in Poland

In Poland 560,000 people have jobs that are directly or indirectly related to the value chain of tobacco products, including about 50,000 people employed in tobacco cultivation, 10,000 in the manufacturing of tobacco products, and around 500,000 in trade and distribution.

Annual harvests of tobacco in Poland since 2009 have reached a level of about 30,000 tons a year.

Tobacco is cultivated by farmers, who often band together into producers’ groups. The interests of tobacco growers are represented by few main unions.  Companies that buy tobacco from growers are known as Intermediate Tobacco Entities (PPT), and their activity is regulated by law. The main types of tobacco cultivated in the country are Virginia and Burley.

Based on the reports from recent years, the Total area of cultivation was 12.3 thousand hectares, with production of 31.2 thousand tons. This level of production places Poland between second and fifth in the European Union, depending on the season.

The factor that particularly characterizes the cultivation of this plant in Poland is its advantage with a range of rigorous quality standards (e.g. moisture, leaf structure and color, and nicotine content), the fertilizers used, employment conditions of agricultural workers and environmental protection. These characteristics give Polish tobacco a good export brand. Polish tobacco is also very price-competitive in comparison to Western European tobacco.

Enterprises that make up the tobacco market in Poland deal as the  processors of raw tobacco, manufacturers of tobacco products, and manufacturers of intermediate goods and other means of production. Part of this family is also Solidus Trading, which distributes whole and raw leaves of both Virginia and Burley types.

The Agricultural Markets Department of the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development and the PZPT estimate that the number of tobacco growers in Poland as of 2017 stands at about 11,000,  while the total number of people employed in cultivation (including farmhands and seasonal workers) reaches 50,000 people

Poland is an attractive investment location thanks to its proximity to large markets (including the domestic market), qualified workforce, high quality, and labor costs lower than in the West. The successive investments fit into the trend of relocating production to Central and Eastern Europe.

  1. Based on data prepared by CASE - Center for Social and Economic Research