WORLDWIDE EXPORTER OF CIGARS
Due to the properties of its soil, the perfect climate, a qualified human resource and decades of experience in the field of tobacco, Honduras has become one of the leading countries both in tobacco sowing and in the production of handmade premium cigars.
Tobacco by-products are made from mixtures of different varieties, which together with different drying and fermentation processes, give them a seal of quality that responds to the preferences of consumers. After the tobacco is harvested it undergoes a curing process (drying) on the producing farms.
The processing of leaf tobacco (raw tobacco) yields a wide variety of products; Some of the most important are: Smoking tobacco: cigarettes, cigars, tobacco blends for pipes.
Tobacco producers are specialized in the sense that it is necessary to have not only land suitable for production but also irrigation and drying (or curing) infrastructure. In addition, it is necessary to have experience in the cultivation since many factors that must be taken into account and that can result in tobacco of low quality or loss of the harvest.
In Honduras, one of the main regions in this area is the city of Danlí, which has become a niche where the largest number of pure tobacco factories are concentrated for the whole world and within them; 5 important manufacturers that are part of the companies affiliated to the Honduran Association of Maquiladoras.
ZIPodemos moved to that area to observe closely the processes of production of cigars and cigarettes making a brief tour in each one of them:
«TABACOS DE DANLI»
Tobaccos of Danli was founded in September of 1999 starting operations with 20 employees. Over the years the growth has been remarkable and at present this tobacco has an approximate 180 workers.
Their main product are cigarettes or little cigars and are made by Hondurans who work in detail and with a finish of a truly qualified workforce. These cigarettes are all for export, being its main market United States and Germany.
In addition to its quality products, explains its General Manager Rafael Leonardo Castillo, Tobaccos of Danlí has programs of direct benefit to its employees as an annual fund of medicines for employees or their families, scholarship plan For employees who study or children of the same and others specific to specific needs of employees.
It has also been projected to the community with Corporate Social Responsibility programs such as the installation of the Sewerage Service in Colonia Bella Vista (the place where the company is located and where many of its employees reside) and the donation of an ambulance for the Hospital Regional «Gabriela Alvarado». Tobaccos of Danlí, like the other tobacco companies in the sector, contribute to the generation of indirect jobs with the support of local and sometimes national commerce with direct purchases of materials and inputs and services necessary for their operations.
With the entrepreneurial spirit that characterizes the Cubans and the quality of Honduran work, Raices Cubanas (Cuban Roots) tobacco factory has been considered in the US market among the 25 best producers of cigars of the world.
This particular company began in the tobacco world in the year 2000 under the name of Hamao Tobacco becoming 2 years later in what is now known as Raices Cubanas. At that time its production was carried out with a small group of excellent workers, who already had the experience enough to accelerate the production that a few years later would double in people and products of export.
Its owner and founder Mr. Romay Adriano Endemaño Diaz who together with his son Hugo Cesar Endemaño Portal, have given to the task of founding, developing and directing this successful company, incorporating in the process their wives. Pura C. Silverio also plays an important role in the company’s commercial and labor area.
This factory is dedicated to the production of cigars and it has become well know for its quality production processes. They have developed their own training program which have formed the «pureros» that not only work in that factory but also in others around Danli.
Foreign brands like the ones made by Raices Cubanas have managed to obtain an important position and good prestige in the US market, as revealed by the magazine CIGAR AFICIONADO. According to this magazine, six of its brands are among the 30 best in the world and that at the same time place Honduras in the third place among the world’s best cigar producers.
In addition to generating employment for 232 workers, the company contributes to the growth of indirect employment with the sub contracting of small businesses in the area who work with wood, for the manufacture of boxes or wooden trunks in which the cigars are elegantly placed according to their category, quality or brand for their respective export. Also it purchases other packaging accessories like plastic wrapping, rings, labels etc from other suppliers.
Although some of the raw tobacco used is imported most is harvested by Honduran hands in farms located in the municipality of Trojes.
The employees as a whole are very grateful to the company, for the opportunity they have been given to have a decent job, which in addition to being the best paid in the area, receive excellent treatment from the owners, whom they consider His second family. This is how a Central American country prides itself in offering the world the aroma and ancestral flavor of its cigars impregnated with the quality of five stars that only Honduras can offer.
«CLASIFICADORA Y EXPORTADORA DE TABACO. S.A»
To talk about Tobacco in Danlí and Honduras is to speak of Clasificadora y Exportadora de Tabaco. S.A, since it is one of the pioneers of tobacco cultivation and manufacture in the country. It began operations in 1979 after the war in Nicaragua, and since then its growth in productivity, exports and employment generation. It has become a strong supported of the economic development of the country.
It is considered as a complete process company, from the cultivation of the plant, its processing, the elaboration of products until its export, being its main market United States and Europe.
Clasificadora y Exportadora de Tabaco. S.A works with its own capital and its committed with the generation of jobs, raising the standard of living to its more than 1200 workers and their families.
Part of the benefits package for its staff is rewarding the performance of those employees who exceed their goals, giving them bonuses for their productivity, a scholarship program for workers’ children, celebrations and gifts on special occasion such as Mother’s, Father’s and Child’s day. Christmas and financial support in the funeral expenses of its employees, their relatives and others.
At the same time,Clasificadora y Exportadora de Tabaco. S.A has become generator of trade and indirect employment, supporting small factories of wooden cases for cigars as well as other suppliers and its workers in Danli.
Clasificadora y Exportadora de Tabaco. S.A as well as Tabacos del Oriente, both affiliated to the Honduran Manufacturers Association, are part of the Plasencia group and in Honduras its owner and President is the well-known entrepreneur Nestor Plasencia Fernández.
In 2000, Plasencia Tobaccos produced the world’s first organic tobacco, Plasencia Organic Reserve, with the purpose of offering connoisseurs the purest cigar, which could be enjoyed in the origins, in the same way as the discoverers of the New World and our ancestors did. The exceptional quality of Plasencia Tabacos has a heritage of almost 160 years, generation after generation of the Plasencia family has been dedicated to producing cigars of superior quality, this tradition has been widely recognized not only in Honduras but throughout the world
SCANDINAVIAN TOBACCO GROUP DANLI
Located in the entrance to the city of Danlí, there is another one of these tobacco manufacturing companies that elevate Honduras with its cigar production and export. This company is Scandinavian Tobacco Group Danlí, which has almost 200 workers who form pairs of «rollers» and «boncheros» .
This tobacco company has been operating in Danli for 10 years, operating the first 8 under the name of Latin Cigars and later changing it to its current name Scandinavian Tobacco Group Danlí. Sacandinavian in addition to benefiting Honduran families with direct jobs, indirectly contributes to the support of other citizens, since all their materials and supplies for the manufacture and packaging of cigars are purchased from Honduran companies in the area. The countries to which Scandinavian exports its production are the United States (80%) and the Netherlands and Canada.
This is how a Central American country prides itself in offering the world the aroma and the ancestral flavor of its cigars impregnated with the quality of five stars that only Honduras can offer.
Honduran cigars has gained acceptance in the international market and is highly esteemed for its quality which has aid in the insertion of this Honduran product into foreign markets. Any cigar produced in Honduras has gained worldwide acceptance.