Thirty people, including 17 from local tobacco manufacturer Mighty Corp., have completed a proficiency-training seminar conducted by American experts on tobacco leaf utilization, leaf chemistry and leaf purchases.
The seminar, jointly conducted by MC and American Tobacco Associates (TA) Inc., also trained the participants on the US Leaf Standards Grading System for both Burley and flue-cured tobacco developed by the US tobacco industry in the early 1900s.
Bobby Wellons, tobacco training specialist from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) conducted the US Leaf Standards Seminar on Burley and flue-cured together with TA’s vice president, Hank Mozingo.
According to retired Gen. Edilberto Adan, MC president, understanding leaf tobacco grading standards provides the foundation for learning and appreciating tobacco qualities and characteristics in the Philippines.
“More specifically,” he said, “the seminars helped those directly involved in tobacco manufacturing gain a better understanding of the unique characteristics of each US tobacco grade and which grades are more suitable for specific blend needs.”    
While MC provided all the necessary on-site assistance and essentials, the TA group supplied all tobacco samples and training materials.
The short but comprehensive course was conducted at the new MC facility (Pavilion) located inside the factory grounds. 
Aside from the MC participants, the others came from the National Tobacco Administration, Universal Leaf Philippines, Trans-Manila Inc., Continental Leaf, Prudence and WCD.
The first two days of the seminar focused on the Burley tobacco grades and characteristics. The remaining three days covered flue-cured.
At the end of the training course, each participant received a certification from USDA for completing the program.
Overall, the tobacco grading seminar has successfully served its purpose, providing participants with a deeper and a more extensive knowledge on the different sectors of the tobacco industry.

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