Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Swedish Match to Add Jobs

The Kentucky Economic Development Finance Authority approved a Kentucky Industrial Development Act incentive program for Swedish Match of Owensboro for an expansion at the Owensboro plant.

Louisville-based National Tobacco Co. will move production of 39 of its products from Louisville to Owensboro next year under a long-term agreement with Swedish Match North America.
"It will definitely mean jobs for Owensboro," Rusty Warnick, vice president of operations and supply for Swedish Match North America, said Friday. "We're not sure yet how many jobs, but I would say a minimum of seven to 10. These are good-paying jobs." The company has about 350 employees in Owensboro now.

A National Tobacco news release says all of the company's loose-leaf tobacco brands will be produced in Owensboro in the future. Those brands include Beech-Nut and the value-priced Durango.

Swedish Match produces such brands as Red Man and Timber Wolf in Owensboro.
"Loose-leaf tobacco is a declining market," Warnick said. "This will help us maintain a number of jobs as well as add more."
Production of National Tobacco products will be moved gradually to Owensboro throughout 2009, he said. National Tobacco said it will "retain all marketing, distribution and trademark rights over its brands. The company will continue to maintain its administrative headquarters at the Louisville facility."

The Owensboro plant, which opened in January 1973, is Swedish Match's only North American smokeless tobacco production facility.

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