Another company has pulled out of this summer’s Premium Cigar Association trade show. Kretek International Inc., owners of Phillips & King and Ventura Cigar Co., announced today that it won’t be attending the next PCA cigar convention.
“The decision to move away from PCA was not an easy one,” said Kretek president Sean Cassar. “But after reviewing the state of the industry and our business, we recognize that our goals are not aligned.”
In an official statement, Kretek noted the importance of all manufacturers and importers to be working together. “Kretek does not believe the PCA is moving in this direction, but rather one that seems to sacrifice segments of the industry in hopes of saving others.”
This announcement comes after four of the largest companies in the premium cigar business opted out of the PCA trade show in a joint statement on January 10. Subsequently a host of companies, including Arturo Fuente, Rocky Patel, Ashton and La Flor Dominicana, have issued statements supporting the PCA.
It should be noted that Kretek owns Tobacco Plus Expo, a large, business-to-business tobacco trade show that covers both premium and machine-made cigars as well as vaping products and flavored tobacco. The TPE will be held January 29 to 31.
Historically, Kretek was one of the larger exhibitors on the PCA showroom floor. In addition to its Phillips & King distribution unit, it also owns Ventura Cigar Co., known for such premium cigars as Archetype Axis Mundi, Psyko Seven and Cuban Cigar Factory. Kretek sells a large volume of machine-made products, most notably Djarum filtered clove cigars.