It all starts with a tobacco seed. This is the beginning of a process that has been perfected over almost two centuries. Swedish Match unites traditional know-how with the latest scientific findings to produce world-leading quality products.
The work starts long before the tobacco seed is put in the ground, by which time many people have been involved in the well-being of the seed, not least our tobacco buyers. In addition to checking the tobacco itself, they inspect the quality of the soil as well as the geographical and topographical conditions. Tobacco and soil samples are sent to Swedish Match’s laboratory in Stockholm for analysis. What is the soil comprised of? What substances are in the tobacco? Everything is meticulously studied.
Before the tobacco is planted in the field, certified tobacco plants must first be cultivated in seedbeds. When the tobacco plant is approximately ten centimeters high, it is planted in the field. After another 10 to 12 weeks, it is time to harvest.
The plant ripens from the bottom up, which means that even the harvesting process is a craft that requires great skill. First, the first pair of leaves are removed, starting from the bottom. Because we want the same level of ripening throughout, the tobacco grower waits a few days before harvesting the next pair of leaves. Then the third pair of leaves are removed, and so on. Another alternative is to harvest the entire plant when all the leaves have ripened. After the harvest follows the curing process, under the sun or in a barn. The moisture content in the leaves drops from approximately 80% to 20% during this process. When this process is completed, the tobacco leaves are shipped for conditioning and grading according to Swedish Match’s quality standards.