How the Cigar Industry Helps Thousands of People
The Cigar industry is helping many communities across the world in subtle ways
The sad reality of the cigar industry is that the most desirable cigars are rolled in some of the poorest developing countries. More premium cigars are produced in the Dominican Republic than in any other nation, with Dominican cigars accounting for over $600 million a year in spending. This also creates more than 120,000 jobs for farmers, cigar rollers, box makers, and countless tobacco industry workers.
When Carlos Fuente and his family moved there in 1980 after surviving great hardship, they created a cigar-making business that grew into a global phenomenon. His son, Carlos “Carlito” Fuente Jr. learned tobacco growing and blending from his father, and grew up to be a visionary for packaging and marketing the brand. Today, Fuente Jr. is the president of Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia, which is the largest family-owned premium cigar company in the world.
Tabacalera A. Fuente y Cia currently operates four factories in the Dominican Republic, employing 4,000 people, produces over 30 million cigars a year, and has recently expanded its operations to Europe and Asia. In 2001, he established the Cigar Family Charitable Foundation, a non-profit charity dedicated to helping the families living in the Dominican Republic.
“Our Cigar Family Charitable Foundation has provided hope and opportunity in an area of the Dominican Republic that has been impoverished for generations,” says Eric Newman, President of the J.C. Newman Company. “The only way to break that cycle is through education. Today we have doctors, architects, teachers, and entrepreneurs who all began their path at our Cigar Family School.”