At the end of May, the leadership of the Europe, CIS and North Africa Region and the BAT Group approved a project to expand the geography of supplies of processed Uzbek tobacco raw materials to BAT factories located in the European Union (EU) countries.
UzBAT will supply tobacco variety “Basma”, which is native to western Greece, and the traditional cultivation zone includes not only Greece, but also North Macedonia, Bulgaria, and Turkey. “Basma” refers to the group of aromatic or “blended” tobaccos, and many experts believe that it is the most aromatic tobacco in the world. When consumed, its taste has a soft, sweet and fragrant shade, so the leaves of "Basma" are used to impart precisely the flavor and sweetness of the tobacco bag.
The cultivation of "Basma" in Uzbekistan by the specialists of the company "BAT" and its local partners-farmers was started in 2002. This type of tobacco is cultivated in Urgut district of Samarkand region in the foothills of Zarafshan ridge at an altitude of 900 to 1000 meters above sea level.
Its processing, including fermentation, cleaning (rejection, separation of the vein from the sheet, removal of dust and dirt), sorting of leaf fractions, final drying and packaging in group containers (boxes) is carried out at the Urgut fermentation plant (UFZ) of the JV UZBAT.
The Uzbek "Basma" is used in the production of all brands of cigarettes at the Samarkand cigarette factory "UZBAT". Until now, its export was limited only to BAT factories in the CIS countries, primarily in Russia and Ukraine. These two export markets provide stable orders for the Uzbek Basm in the amount of 650-700 tons of processed raw materials per year.
The European factories of the BAT group in Poland, Romania, Hungary, Serbia, Croatia, Switzerland, Germany still purchased the port “Basma” in its historic homeland - in the countries of the Balkan Peninsula and the Eastern Mediterranean.
The essence of the decision is that starting from 2021, the Uzbek “Basma” will gradually replace part of its Mediterranean counterparts in the “BAT” factories in the EU countries, and from 2023 about 650-700 tons of tobacco raw materials of this type will be shipped a year.
The deliveries of the Uzbek Basma to the countries of the European Union became possible following a three-year in-depth monitoring of its quality by specialists from the Global Department of sheet operations of the BAT group, which included annual visits to plantations in Uzbekistan, laboratory tests at international centers for research and quality assessment in Southampton, UK, and Bayreuth, Germany.
According to its results, the full compliance of Uzbek raw materials with international quality standards of the BAT group was reaffirmed, and in terms of the price-quality ratio, the Uzbek Basma was even able to outrun its European counterparts.