Founded in 1946, USTC has evolved into a dynamic, nimble and competitive player in world tobacco markets.


U.S. Tobacco Cooperative established

Tobacco growers in the states of Florida, Georgia, North Carolina, South Carolina, and Virginia establish the Flue-Cured Tobacco Stabilization Corporation, widely known as “Stabilization,” both to administer the price support program of the Federal Tobacco Program, and to sell member-farmers’ tobacco to buyers around the world.


Tobacco Growers Services Inc. established

The Cooperative board authorizes the purchase of Brown Tobacco Company for the purpose of future redrying and storage capability. It is renamed Tobacco Growers Services Inc.


Capital Reserve Fund established

The board establishes the fund:

  1. To fund projects that could not be paid for by the Federal Tobacco Program; and
  2. For continuing operations in the event of the abolishment of the Federal Tobacco Program.


Proposal for continuation of the Cooperative in absence of Federal Tobacco Program

U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Farmer Cooperative Service presents a proposal – “Stabilization and Farm Organizations” – as to how Stabilization could continue to benefit growers in the event the Federal Tobacco Program was abolished.


No Net Cost Tobacco Program passed in Congress

Congress enacts legislation to ensure that the U.S. government recovers all the money it spends on the price-support programs for tobacco.


Barn retrofit program

The Cooperative contributes $26 million and administers an industry-wide effort to assist flue-cured tobacco farmers in converting their curing barns to reduce tobacco-specific nitrosamines.


Marketing Centers established

With direct contracting threatening the traditional tobacco auction system, and in turn, price support; and with the Federal Tobacco Program and the asset value of quota both in danger, the board authorizes the establishment of a Marketing Center pilot program, authorizing the establishment of two marketing centers for the 2001 season.


Marketing Center program expanded

Based on the success of the pilot program, the board authorizes the expansion of the Marketing Center program for 2002.


Investigation into feasibility of cigarette manufacturing

Realizing the end of the Federal Tobacco Program is near, the Cooperative’s board authorizes staff to investigate future business opportunities to protect member growers.


Vector Tobacco manufacturing facility purchase completed

The Cooperative’s board gives final approval for the purchase of the processing and manufacturing facility in Timberlake, North Carolina on June 3.


U.S. Flue-Cured Tobacco Growers, Inc. established as a subsidiary

The facility formerly known as Vector Tobacco is renamed for the new subsidiary created by the Cooperative on July 13.


Federal Tobacco Program ends

President George W. Bush signs FETRA into law on October 22, ending the Federal Tobacco Program.


New beginning for Flue-Cured Tobacco Cooperative and tobacco buyers worldwide

July 1 marks the official beginning of the 2005 crop year and – with the end of price supports – a more competitive world market for flue-cured tobacco growers in the United States. Buyers worldwide anticipate lower prices on flue-cured tobacco from the United States, widely considered the finest in the world; while Cooperative member-farmers celebrate the end of quotas limiting the tobacco acreage they can plant.


Company Name Change

Name officially changes to U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc. on November 14.


Family Smoking Prevention and Tobacco Control Act

This law takes effect on June 22, giving the FDA the authority to regulate the manufacture, distribution, and marketing of tobacco products.


GAP Procedures Implemented

Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) is an educational and informational program that encourages growers to implement sound practices that flue-cured tobacco is grown in a sustainable manner using economical and environmentally friendly procedures.


Big South Acquisition

Purchase of Big South Distribution is completed in March to expand product distribution into new regions of the U.S., primarily in the Southeast and Mid-Atlantic areas.


Premier Manufacturing Acquisition

In October, USTC purchases Premier Manufacturing of St. Louis and its subsidiary Franchise Wholesale Co of Omaha, NE and Las Vegas, NV. Premier’s 4 brands are grandfathered from the MSA agreement. Franchise is a cigarette and tobacco distributor with a strong presence west of the Mississippi River.


Joined GAP Connections

GAP Connections is an independent, third-party, industry-wide organization that aims at ensuring sustainable, economically viable production of useable tobacco via training and assessments.


Mullins Marketing Center Purchase

USTC purchases 130,000 sq. ft. facility in Mullins, SC in September to improve the ability for growers to sell their tobacco and increase efficiencies.


Participant in STP

In December, USTC becomes a participant in the Sustainable Tobacco Production (STP) program. The STP program ensures and recognizes that industry standards are being adhered to throughout the product cycle from seed to final delivery.


La Crosse Marketing Center Purchase

USTC purchases the La Crosse, VA facility with over 161,000 sq. ft. in January to enhance the tobacco buying process for our growers and also provide efficient storage, improved processing and grading with an improved logistics flow.


100% Grower Audits

USTC becomes the first leaf supplier to conduct 100% grower audits by an independent third party. The program seeks to ensure that U.S. flue-cured tobacco from USTC is produced in a manner that is competitive, sustainable, compliant and safe for all parties involved in the process.


Consumer Products Group Signs with Circle K

The consumer products division of USTC, Premier Manufacturing of Chesterfield, MO, signs a long-term exclusive agreement in April to supply TRAFFIC® cigarettes to Circle K stores in 41 states.


Smithfield Marketing Center Purchase

In May, USTC purchases the Smithfield, NC facility with over 144,000 sq. ft. servicing more than 200 growers, providing easy access for growers to sell their tobacco in one of the largest flue-cured regions.


King Maker Marketing Acquired

In November, USTC purchases 100% of the stock of King Maker Marketing, Inc. (KMM) of Paramus, NJ from its parent company ITC Limited. King Maker Marketing nationally distributed four brands of value cigarettes.