The BAT Heidelberg factory is the 8th largest factory in Global BAT and accounts for a significant total production for both domestic consumption and export into the wider Southern African Area Region.
The Rembrandt Tobacco Corporation, established in 1948 by the late Anton Rupert, obtained the land along the Berg River and a modern cigarette and tobacco manufacturing plant was established over the decades. It was ahead of its time and the first manufacturing machines of long filter cigarettes were installed at the factory in 1952, making it the most state-of the-art plant in the world at the time.
The plant has been relocated to Heidelberg in Gauteng.
Approximately 100 countries produce tobacco internationally. We work with tobacco farmers and other suppliers to promote high ethical, environmental and workplace standards across our supply chain.
The major tobacco producers are China, India, Brazil, the United States, Turkey, Zimbabwe, Zambia and Malawi. China is the world’s largest producer of tobacco and produces over 35 percent of the world’s tobacco.
The tobacco plant is in the same botanical family as tomatoes, potatoes, peppers or eggplants.
Globally, regulation of the tobacco industry and tobacco products has increased in scope and content since the 1950’s with the growing awareness of the public health impact of smoking. Regulators began by legislating to inform consumers about the health risks of smoking by requiring manufacturers to print health warnings on tobacco packaging.
Other trends have been an increasing focus on the design features of cigarettes, such as stipulating the maximum tar and nicotine content.
Heidelberg Lab forms an integral part of managing and controlling all products in SAA within the set targets.
We ensure that with every moment our products represent the brand and the consumer with superiority.
We take pride in our products and ensure through uniform ISO methods that every moment is a memorable one.
We need to more than just meet consumer expectations, we need to delight consumers with exciting additional features and innovations in order to win the market share and lead markets.
Manufacturing tobacco products is a large-scale operation and at the end of 2019 we had 45 cigarette factories in 43 countries. In addition to tobacco leaf, we purchase a wide variety of goods and services from suppliers and we encourage continuous improvements in business practices. Quality is our top priority.
Cigarette making, once done entirely by hand, is now almost fully automated, with the cut tobacco, cigarette paper and filters continuously fed into the cigarette-making machines to produce the perfect cigarette.
When processed tobacco leaf arrives at our factory, it is checked for quality and carefully blended with other tobacco and any ingredients that the brand recipe may call for, such as flavourings that balance the taste.
Our SMD departments Maker and Packing machines ensure our cigarettes are manufactured, placed into the familiar brand packs, wrap the packs in protective film and group them into cartons and cases. There is more testing at each stage to make sure the cigarettes are properly protected before the completed cases are ready for distribution.