The ITGA is a non-profit organisation founded in 1984 with the objective of presenting the cause of millions of tobacco farmers to the world. It is run by a Board of Directors, comprised of a President, Vice-President and a Chief Executive who, together, strive to provide a strong collective voice on an international and national scale in order to ensure the long-term security of tobacco markets.
Tobacco growers all over the world share similar problems, threats and challenges, regardless of the size of their production. It is for this reason that the ITGA defends that every tobacco farmer, regardless of the size of the land he cultivates and the volume of tobacco he produces, has the right to be represented internationally, as to ensure that the intricacies of and challenges to his activity are justly considered by international decision-makers.
For the ITGA, empowerment is the key-word; ITGA policies and activities are developed by tobacco farmers, represented by their countries' own grower-run organisations, regional tobacco leaf marketing boards or national tobacco institutes, to further their own interests. Thus, tobacco growers all over the world are given the opportunity to voice their concerns in unison.
The ITGA centres its efforts on …
- Developing contact between tobacco growers around the world;
- Sharing non-competitive information about the crop with its members;
- Elaborating strategies to stabilise supply and prices;
- Countering national and international anti-tobacco-growing campaigns;
- Ensuring that the legitimate interests of tobacco growers are adequately considered by national and international policy-makers;
- Monitoring market conditions;
- Building mutual understanding and protecting its members and their dependants;
- Publicising the socio-economic importance of tobacco in terms of employment, agricultural development and national economic benefits.
In its regular liaisons with international organisations whose activities impact on tobacco growers' interests, the ITGA always stays true to its principle of presenting arguments rationally and objectively in conformity with the scientific method.
The ITGA publicises and disseminates a range of specialised materials that include, for instance, its quarterly newsletter, The Tobacco Courier , reports, research and issues papers such as 'Tobacco Farming: Sustainable Alternatives', 'Trade or Aid' and 'Tobacco in the Developing World'.
Today, the ITGA is run as a three-person organisation from its headquarters in the eastern Portuguese city of Castelo Branco . Mr. António Abrunhosa, a Portuguese tobacco-farmer was appointed in 1999 by the ITGA as the Chief Executive of the organisation, an office he has been holding ever since.