HIGHLIGHTS

Oriental leaf - despite its name - had been grown only in the Balkans for centuries. So Oriental leaf tobacco production in Thailand, one might wonder, how did it happen?

In mid 1960s, K.S. Chongsuknirandr forms company with US partner to experiment Thai Oriental growing in northeastern Thailand (Issan). He was looking for ways to improve the livelihood of Thai farmers living in the arid northeastern region of Thailand, better known to locals as “Isan”. K.S. started Thai Tobacco Enterprises with an American tobacco dealer to experiment with Oriental leaf production in Isan, hoping that farmers there could supplement their income by growing the leaf in dry season when rainfall is scarce.

To continue the trials, K.S. formed Adams International Ltd. (AIL) in 1969 with a venerable U.S. tobacco supplier W.A. Adams as a joint venture. The outfit got their big break in 1974 when Philip Morris decided to purchase 100 tons of the Thai Oriental leaf. The rest, as they say, is history.

AIL became associated first with the Standard Commercial Group when Standard bought W.A. Adams in 1992.  Later in 2005 Standard Commercial Corp. merged rx centre 24 with DIMON Inc. creating Alliance One International, which became the current partner of the Chongsuknirandr family in AIL.