A global tobacco identity preservation program - TIPP
The tobacco industry maintains the identity of tobacco types (sun, air or flue-cured) and grades in order to blend these components into the products preferred by our consumers. With TIPP this existing system was further developed to ensure additional traceability from the seed to manufacturing facilities. The initial driver was the need to ensure that only conventional and no genetically modified tobacco is purchased. TIPP also encompasses a system to ensure the tobacco crop identity is maintained. This paper explains how the Philip Morris' headquarters and affiliates along with our Leaf suppliers worked collaboratively to implement TIPP in over 40 countries. Identity preservation usually refers to crop management that preserves the identity of the crop source. TIPP treats each tobacco crop as a process, identifying crop steps such as seedbed or curing. At the beginning of the crop a specification is established, i.e. plants per hectare, fertilizer rates, cultivars, calendar of events etc. As the crop proceeds to our manufacturing facilities sampling and testing are carried out for a variety of parameters, thus ensuring conformance to our requirements. After 18 months, TIPP has covered more than one global tobacco crop cycle, introducing best practice platforms and laying the foundation for improved traceability and preservation of tobacco integrity and quality.