U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc., an industry leader in growing, processing and manufacturing flue-cured tobacco, has purchased a marketing center in Smithfield, NC. The facility will service over 200 of the Cooperative’s flue-cured tobacco growers in North Carolina.

The 144,000 square foot facility is located close to I-95 and US Hwy 301 South at 2816 Brightleaf Boulevard in Smithfield, NC. The facility provides growers easy access to sell their tobacco in one of the largest flue-cured regions.

USTC has been operating a marketing center there since 2013. The decision to purchase the facility shows USTC’s long term commitment to the region. The Cooperative’s long term strategy is to own market centers in key tobacco regions with the goal of lowering its green conversion costs. During the 2015 crop, the Smithfield facility purchased nearly 14 million pounds of flue-cured tobacco.

“With this purchase in the heart of tobacco country, the Smithfield operations represent our continued focus on serving our growers. With USTC being owned by members, we look to make business investments that will add value to our members both in convenience and lower operating costs which translates into higher patronage dividends long term,” said U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Chief Executive Officer Stuart Thompson. “This is an excellent facility that was recently renovated in a great location for us,” said Thompson.

For more information on U.S. Tobacco Cooperative Inc., visit www.usleaf.com.