One of the most important developments out of the annual meeting of the Tobacco Growers Association of North Carolina each year, is the announcement of the organization's yearly resolutions. The group met Feb. 3 at the State Fairgrounds in Raleigh and while the complete list of resolutions is too long to be included in its entirety, we have included some key points, with a particular focus on a few of the ones that are new or changed from last year.
The wording is directly from TGANC's documents. New resolutions are:
* We implore all commodity groups and the tobacco leadership groups 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 U.S. in any area of trade be allowed to promote the high quality, comparative U.S. tobacco.
*We call upon tobacco companies that contract with growers to develop policies and practices that are fair and inclusive of all growers with regards to economic welfare of tobacco producers as a whole.
*We oppose multi-tier contract conditions and markets that do not publish a retail price for tobacco that reflects its market value.
*We oppose any future increase in the state and federal excise tax on tobacco products.
*We recommend that our Association and other tobacco supportive organizations continue to publicize the economic benefits of tobacco to our nation 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 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 await FDA regulatory authority.
Look for more extensive coverage of these and additional new and changed resolutions in an upcoming issue of Carolina-Virginia Farmer magazine.