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Pedro Perez—Former President, Tabacalera

A talk with the man behind Tabacalera, Spain's $7 billion tobacco company.
Marvin R. Shanken
From the Print Edition:
Tom Selleck, Winter 95/96

(continued from page 15)

Perez: It is quite clear that we have a severe shortage of Cuban cigars. Being the first client of Cuba made it necessary to work with the country and this is why we designed a resource program where we give all supplies necessary for the tobacco crop.

CA: For the entire farming operation, or just the portion that relates to your needs?

Perez: Related to our needs.

CA: That means about 50 percent of the tobacco farms, in the Vuelta Abajo, for example, would be financed directly by you? Do you get involved in the farming operations directly such as owning land or leasing land?

Perez: No, this is the way that it works: In advance of the crop, the Cubans provide us with a list of needs and the supplies they consider appropriate every year by item. We then buy the items and we ship them to Cuba. We assure that every farmer, cooperative and other growing concerns receive these goods.

CA: What are the items they receive?

Perez: Everything. Fertilizer, pesticides, implements, clothes and shoes.

CA: How many acres do you support through your activities?

Perez: Well, there are a total of about 26,000 hectares [57,000 acres] of tobacco land in production in Cuba. [Tabacalera supports half of that acreage.] We also work with the factories.

CA: How much in dollar value does your investment represent?

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