Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP) are vital to protecting our workforce, improving our processing results and providing higher quality. GMP first identifies then implements procedures to satisfy goals of quality, efficiency and safety. Moreover, it embraces feedback from our personnel, suppliers and customers thereby improving our processes and procedures.
A Corporate Processing Team consisting of representatives from worldwide operations evaluates and implements strategies to improve our processing operations. Universal also conducts worldwide Operations Conferences aimed at facilitating dialogue addressing key processing issues and sharing knowledge of best practices.
We also develop, invest in and implement new technologies. In the early 1960s we built the first tobacco super-plant in Henderson, North Carolina, realizing industry-leading economies of scale. We were also the first merchant company in the industry to implement laboratory standards and establish a quality control laboratory.
Universal continues to improve our technologies through R&D initiatives and by establishing strong alliances with equipment manufacturers for equipment customized for our needs. We’ve also patented equipment and processes widely used throughout the industry ranging from the development of improved leaf separation technologies to the development of improved Non-Tobacco Related Material (NTRM) removal devices.
Today, innovation continues with significant investments in new construction and facilities upgrades. We’ve installed new processing equipment in our facilities in Brazil, Italy, Malawi, and Mozambique, and operate a 1.2-million square-foot facility in Nash County, North Carolina, the most technologically advanced leaf processing facility in the world.