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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 3)

CA: What percentage of those are handmade versus machine-made?

Perez: Handmade--34 million, 5 million of which are produced by Tabacalera.

CA: What are your major brands of machine-made cigars and where do they come from?

Perez: Our leading brand is Farias. Farias represents 60 percent of the total amount, which means 250 million cigars per year. The blend contains a very high percentage of Cuban tobacco.

CA: Where is it actually made?

Perez: In the north of Spain. Within the Farias brand, we have the so called Farias Centenario. The wrapper is Cuban. It's wonderful. It's the king of the machine-made cigars.

CA: Are all 5 million of your handmade cigars Cuban?

Perez: No. But the blends for them all contain Cuban tobacco. For instance, the leading brand is Condal. Condal is a handmade Canary Island cigar. I am tempted to say the percentage of Cuban tobacco, but this, as you know, is a secret. Condal, also, Peñamil. By the way, the Peñamil produced in the Canary Islands is quite different to the Peñamil produced in the United States by Swisher. The two cigars have nothing to do with each other because of their different blends.

CA: So the 5 million handmade cigars are all from the Canary Islands?

Perez: Yes.

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