Resolutions for 2013 were approved by The Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina during their organization's Annual Meeting, Feb. 1, at the N.C. State Fairgrounds in Raleigh. The complete list of resolutions adopted outlining the organization's goals and principles is a long one, but a summary list of the new and/or modified resolutions for 2013 is below. Some of the resolutions include:
• We implore all commodity groups and the tobacco leadership groups and governmental entities to come together with commitment and support to resolve the farm worker labor concerns that impact the livelihood of the farm families in North Carolina.
• We oppose detrimental federal intervention, lawsuits and other unwarranted attacks on a legal industry. We recognize that tobacco is a legal commodity representing an extremely large amount of international trade; therefore we insist that all agencies and individuals representing the United States in any area of trade be allowed to promote the high quality, comparative value of U.S. tobacco, including fair treatment in all trade agreements.
• We call upon tobacco companies that contract with growers to continue to develop policies and practices that are fair and inclusive of all growers with regards to the economic welfare of tobacco producers as a whole.
• We oppose any future increase in the state or federal excise tax on tobacco products.
• We further recommend that our Association and other tobacco supportive organizations continue to publicize the economic benefits of tobacco to our nation's policy makers in terms of jobs and tax revenue.
• We are concerned that essentially no new funds are allocated by the Agricultural Research Service of USDA for tobacco research. We believe this is discriminatory to tobacco farmers and specifically request that additional funds be allocated for regional research on tobacco based upon the enormous tax contribution this industry makes to our governmental budgets. This is especially true as we continue to await FDA regulatory authority.
~~~PAGE_BREAK_HERE~~~• We are opposed to additional legislation and regulation that would restrict when and where adults choose to smoke.
• We support tobacco growers and purchasers to collectively develop strategies, systems and procedures that will enhance the integrity and quality of flue-cured and burley tobacco and reduce the cost of marketing.
• We support efforts the help create awareness about the consequences associated with the loss of productive farmland. We applaud the N.C. Department of Agriculture and the N.C. General Assembly for its creation and funding of the Farm Land Preservation Trust in the mitigation of the disappearance of our farm land and natural resources.
• TGANC continues to be concerned about the potential for sharp escalation in costs of production in growing tobacco and the importance of those entities that purchase leaf tobacco to understand such expenses.
• Given the unnecessary costs of multiple costs of multiple barn testing requirements, TGANC advocates that a single, standardized barn test program continues.
• Understanding that GAP testing and certification is beneficial to the industry and that all growers are now required to comply, we support a continued standardized GAP testing program.
• We encourage the industry to explore opportunities to achieve increased yields for conventional tobacco seed.
• Aging infrastructure is a major concern for all involved in tobacco production. TGANC requests that purchasers of tobacco be aware that multiyear contracts and pricing sufficient to ensure long term profitability are necessary to inspire enough confidence in the grower base to allow for modernizing tobacco specific investments.
• Call upon the tobacco industry to be aware of the importance of social responsibility.
• Given the diversification of N.C. agriculture, we encourage the expansion and accessibility for all farmers in rural communities to be in a position to procure natural gas as a viable energy source.