Socotab (Société Commerciale de Tabac) was founded in 1923 in Antwerp, Belgium, principally exporting Russian Sukhumi tobaccos to France and the USA.
In the following years, business was developed in Turkey and Greece, eventually expanding into North Macedonia and Bulgaria.

“Oriental Tobacco is to an American blend cigarette what pepper and salt is to a steak.”

From the start,

the company has exclusively specialized in Oriental tobaccos and continues to do so today.

Socotab is one of the leading oriental leaf Tobacco merchants in the world, supplying quality, compliant oriental tobacco to the world’s top cigarette manufacturers.

ln 1998 Socotab partnered with Universal Leaf Tobacco Company, Inc. (NYSE: UVV), which is the leading global leaf tobacco supplier, headquartered in Richmond, VA, USA, with operations in over 30 countries.

The Crops


Socotab has operations in all of the classical oriental growing regions and

purchases processes and sells all varieties
of classical oriental leaf tobaccos.

Our product is sourced from more than 35’000 individual farming partners with which
we have growing contracts, and who are located in Turkey, North Macedonia, Greece and Bulgaria.

Each year, Socotab contracts thousands of specialized farmers to produce the highest quality oriental tobacco possible.


Each year, Socotab contracts thousands of specialized farmers to produce the highest quality
oriental tobacco possible. We have dedicated teams of skilled agronomists and field technicians
who are available to provide recommendations and advice, while also providing information
to the company about the evolution of the crops.

When the crops are ready, our technicians assess the quality according to pre-agreed scales
of prices and the tobacco is then transported to our central warehouses.
Payment to the farmers is effected within one week, usually directly to their bank accounts.

Once the tobacco is received in-house, we perform various quality checks after which
we create individual recipes to meet the blend requirements of our various customers.
We then process and pack the tobaccos in our state-of-the-art factories,
while constantly checking the quality of the product in our in-house laboratories.
Finally, the tobaccos are kept in our dedicated storage facilities until such time
as we ship them to our customers.


Oriental tobacco is special in many ways:

  • The highest quality orientals are grown under special conditions, unique to the areas in which we operate.
  • The combination of seed-type and growing practices create the aroma in the leaf, which is much smaller than the other main varieties of tobacco.
  • All oriental tobacco is cured using natural sunlight only, in specially designed curing frames.


Our farming partners are mainly private,
small-scale, traditional family units,
who have been in the business for generations,
and whose main « cash crop » is oriental tobacco.

Of course, traditional does not mean old-fashioned and we spend much time, energy and money on ensuring that our partners are up-to-date on many of the important issues of our day.

One of the advantages of being a group spanning across several countries, is that we are able to standardize our educational material, thus ensuring that our growers implement best practices in terms of agro-chemical usage, environmental protection and labor issues (especially child labor), regardless of their location.


Socotab Frana SA acts as the commercial, operational,
and financial center of the Socotab Group.

We have three factories:
Our processing facilities in Turkey and North Macedonia handle
the tobaccos grown in those two countries, while our Bulgarian
factory handles tobaccos grown in the EU
(i.e. Bulgaria and Greece).

Our facilities are constantly being updated to make sure
that they are equipped with the latest technology to ensure
efficient handling while also guaranteeing that every box
of tobacco is packed within the tight specifications
of our customers.
Furthermore, we ensure that all of our facilities operate
at the highest level of safety for our personnel.

Socotab and
Social Responsibility

  • Socotab believes in acting in a socially responsible manner both internally and towards the outside world.
    Socotab has either developed or participates in many different programs, all of which further the goal of being
    a responsible corporate citizen.

  • Moreover, as a member of the Universal Leaf Tobacco family we participate in their Sustainability
    & Supply Chain Integrity Policies, which ensures that we conduct,
    « our business according to ethical standards which protect and serve our employees, our communities,
    our environment, our suppliers, our customers and our shareholders. »

  • We also contribute to Universal’s worldwide carbon disclosure program, which tracks the company’s carbon footprint.

  • We are proud that all of our processing facilities are ISO 14001 (Environmental Management System) certified.
    These certifications require constant efforts and attention and underpin our commitment to act in an environmentally
    friendly manner whenever possible.

  • As a company, we strive to be considered a good employer not only in terms of level of pay and other benefits,
    but also by providing a safe, clean and welcoming work environment for our employees.

  • Our factories are all 9001 (Quality Management System) certified, and we regularly audit our performance
    internally (both by management reviews and internal audits) as well as by various independent third parties,
    mandated by several customers.

  • At the same time, we pay a great deal of attention to ensure that our supply chain does not contain cases of abusive employment practices. We participate in various customer-initiated programs such as PMI’s Agricultural Labor Practices program (ALP), as well as the Sustainable Tobacco Program (STP) which is managed and audited by AB Sustain, an independent third-party appointed by many of our major customers (BAT, ITG, JTI, PMI, RJRT, Swedish Match). Finally, we regularly examine farm-level labor issues during management review meetings at both group and local levels.


Socotab Frana SA
82, rue de Lausanne
1202 Genève

Tel: +41 22 908 3500
Fax: +41 22 908 3525
e-mail: frana@socotab.com

Socotab EOOD
4202 Radinovo
Plovdiv District

Tel: +359 32 904 140
Fax: +359 32 904 150
e-mail: bg.info@socotab.com

Socotab Yaprak Tütün
Kemalpaşa OSB Mahallesi
İzmir Caddesi No: 87/1
35735 Kemalpaşa

Tel: +90 232 877 02 50
Fax: +90 232 877 02 57/8
e-mail: tr.info@socotab.com

Socotab EOOD Greek Branch
Terma Ethnikou Stadiou kai Martiou
Location Tria Pigadia
60 100 Katerini

Tel: +30 2 3510 49 970
Fax: +30 2 3510 49 980
e-mail: gr.info@socotab.com

Socotab DOOEL Bitola
7000 Bitola
Tel: +389 47 212 400
Fax: +389 47 212 450
e-mail: mk.info@socotab.com

Socotab – Durham Corp.
2285 Brook Cove Road
Walnut Cove
NC 27052

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