Engagement with stakeholders

In early 2009, we held a dialogue session with stakeholders including regulators, enforcement agencies and representatives from the public health community, to establish if our current approach to tackling illicit trade is appropriate and addresses external stakeholder expectations. Feedback was positive, encouraging us to continue engaging with governments and regulators, particularly when we can provide them with useful and robust data. Training of enforcement agencies was felt to be another area where we provide valuable support that could be further expanded.
It was felt that a collaborative approach among the stakeholders involved, including representatives from other industries, would be most effective at tackling illicit trade. Dialogue participants stated that some stakeholders’ perceptions of past industry complicity in the illicit trade of tobacco products might make some people reluctant to work with the industry. They encouraged us to address these perceptions by continuing to be active opponents of illicit trade.
However, concern was expressed that some tobacco companies did not do all they could to prevent over-supply of tobacco products to markets. We believe that ‘Know your Customer’ guidelines address this effectively for our operations. Stakeholders also highlighted the role of technology and machinery in tackling illicit trade. It was felt that we should keep our processes as ‘high-tech’ as possible to make counterfeiting difficult and that we should continue to destroy our old machinery to prevent it being used by counterfeiters.

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