Non-Tobacco Related Material (NTRM) and the protection of tobacco integrity
Non-tobacco related material (NTRM) is of critical concern to the tobacco industry. Comprehensive approaches to NTRM source elimination and NTRM detection and removal at all levels of the supply chain are necessary in order to protect tobacco integrity. As a result of the inordinate cost of removal and potential tobacco loss, the industry has redoubled its efforts focusing on farm-level elimination of NTRM sources. Various strategies are in use to achieve positive results in all areas of the world. It has also become clear that the communications link in integrated production systems and strong partnerships with farmers and the farm community are key elements of success. Efforts continue through transport, storage, green leaf threshing and manufacturing to both maintain and verify tobacco integrity. Traceability improvements play a key role in maintaining a robust supply chain feedback loop which supports the improvement of NTRM related practices and identification of emerging issues. This presentation identifies NTRM supply chain challenges, while summarizing existing industry NTRM strategies and systems aimed at addressing these challenges and protecting tobacco integrity.