With over 110 years in the tobacco business, Souza Cruz has developed a successful history, with a solid reputation as a cigarette manufacturer and as a tobacco exporter. With a long history of hard work and success, Souza Cruz’s agribusiness is deeply rooted in the south of Brazil.

With around 30 thousand contracted tobacco growers as partners and one of the biggest leaf processing complexes in the world, Souza Cruz supplies the domestic market and also exports to more than 50 countries world-wide. Souza Cruz’s focus on quality of all its operations has led to its multiple certification, a unique achievement in our business.

Our history

On April 25, 1903, a young Portuguese immigrant named Albino Souza Cruz started up the first machine in Brazil that produced cigarettes pre-rolled in paper.

With only 16 employees working in a house in downtown Rio de Janeiro, the founder of Souza Cruz made his first brand of cigarette: Dalila.

The instant success of this product in the tobacco stores of what was then the capital of Brazil forced Albino to increase his output. In 1910, Souza Cruz purchased the imposing Paulo Cordeiro Imperial Snuff Factory on Conde de Bonfim Street and set up his first factory.

But more funds and better technology were needed to speed up the growth of this enterprise. In order to attain these objectives, Albino Souza Cruz turned his company into a share corporation in 1914, and transferred the controlling shares to the British American Tobacco Group.
This change spurred the growth of Souza Cruz, which became the largest tobacco company in Latin America. From then on, Souza Cruz increased its output and went international, developing technologically and becoming an unchallenged market leader and an international benchmark for marketing mass-consumption products.

On April 25, 2003, Souza Cruz celebrated its first centennial with the inauguration of its Cachoeirinha factory in the state of Rio Grande do Sul. This highly symbolic event brought one of the world's most modern cigarette factories on line, as the company stressed its most important value, reflecting its origins and the principles of the Group: vision and belief in the future.

Enlarging its industrial complex in Cachoeirinha, in 2007, the company opened its new Centre for Research and Development, one of the most advanced research centres in the world.

In 2009, the company carried out one more project: the opening of its Printing Plant, also in Cachoeirinha. The plant has an area of 20,000 square meters and was the result of an investment of 130 million reais.

A history of  Souza Cruz














1903 - Souza Cruz was founded on April 25, by Albino Souza Cruz. Rio de Janeiro / RJ.

1918 - Beginning of the Integrated Tobacco Production System. Currently, the company operates in partnership with 30 thousand Integrated Tobacco Farmers.

1969 - Beginning of leaf exports by Souza Cruz.

1985 - Corn and Bean after Tobacco Harvest Program is launched, now under the coordination of SindiTabaco as of 2014.

1987 - Beginning of the activities in the Tobacco Breeding Centre, Rio Negro / PR.

1995 - Souza Cruz implements the FLOAT System in Brazil. Loose Leaf (LL) Barn is launched.

2002 - Extended School Journey: Incentive to outside normal classroom hours. Sustains SindiTabaco’s Growing-UP Right programme.

2003 - Inauguration of the Industrial and Manufacturing Complex in Cachoeirinha / RS and of the Environmental Parks in the Units of Santa Cruz do Sul, Cachoeirinha and Uberlândia.

2004 - Launching of the Soil Master Plan.

2009 - ‘Knowing Project' is launched. Incentive to digital skills at farm level, with upwards of 10 thousand computers handed over to Integrated Tobacco Farmers.

2013 - Launching of Producer Website: www.produtorsouzacruz.com.br

2014 - Publication of Technical Standards for Certifying Integrated Tobacco Production (MAPA).
Launching of Water Resources Administrator Programme.

Tobacco in Brazil

From the beliefs and rituals of the indigenous peoples, tobacco became the most important non-food agricultural product on the planet. The use of tobacco products in all their forms (snuff, straw cigarettes, cigars, cigarillos, roll-your-own, etc.) goes back to times well before the existence of the present-day cigarette manufacturers.

With its origins in the Andes, tobacco followed the migrations of the Indians throughout Central America, until it arrived in Brazil. The first tobacco fields were farmed by colonists for their own consumption. However, soon others appeared who were willing to buy the excess until finally, in Europe, demand grew and many businesspeople started to visualize the tremendous possibilities for profit that would come from the creation of a regular tobacco supply chain.

Initially, the production of tobacco in Brazil occupied small areas between Salvador and Recife in the Recôncavo Baiano, an exceptionally fertile region along the coast of the state of Bahia. In the first half of the 17th century, during the Dutch occupation of Pernambuco, the tobacco produced in that area had an important role among the products offered by the West Indies Company. With the expulsion of the Dutch, the first regulatory legislation of tobacco production began to appear.
In 1674, the colony’s monopoly was guaranteed through creation of the Tobacco Administration Board, the decisions of which established the rules regarding tobacco for all Portuguese colonies.

By the end of the 17th century, one piece of legislation attempted to regulate tobacco commerce based on controlling transported cargoes due to the vast size and diversity of the growing areas, creating special regulations and agencies such as the Tobacco Inspection Board. From this date on, legislation was finally stabilized and remained in force until after Brazilian independence. The end of the supervised freedom that Portugal imposed on Brazil during the colonial period gave significant impetus to tobacco farmers. It became possible to grow any species, anywhere.

Further, the possibility of direct commerce with foreign countries was a great incentive. At that time, effectively beginning in 1850, the provinces that stood out in tobacco production were Minas Gerais, Bahia and, due to German immigration, Santa Catarina and Rio Grande do Sul.

In 1917 the Brazilian Tobacco Corporation was set up in Santa Cruz do Sul (RS). The company was established by the British company, British American Tobacco, and was the first step in the transformation of the city into a national centre for the tobacco industry. In 1920 the company changed its name to “Companhia Brasileira de Fumo em Folha” (Brazilian Tobacco Leaf Company) and in 1955 it was acquired by Souza Cruz.