Imperial Tobacco Canada, the largest tobacco company in the country, has run its business in an increasingly complex and challenging marketplace since 1908. Today it faces a growing illegal tobacco industry, draft legislation that would ban on-package branding, skepticism with respect to its new reduced-harm products, and a soon-to-be-legalised marijuana market.
How should the government treat new safer tobacco and nicotine products? And what accounts for the policy inconsistency that will allow the marijuana industry more marketing and product freedoms than tobacco companies?
On September 28th, one of Toronto’s best-known business reporters, Mike Eppel of 680 News, will sit down with the CEO of Imperial Tobacco Canada, Jorge Araya, to discuss these issues and look at where this industry is headed in the next 10 years. Some of what is happening will surprise people who tend not to focus on this industry in spite of its enormous size here in Canada and around the world.
Jorge Araya started his career with British American Tobacco Chile in 1995 and held various marketing roles in Chile and Mexico prior to being appointed as Marketing Director Southern Cone and Brazil. In 2012, he joined the Americas Regional Leadership team, where he successfully led the marketing growth strategy through significant portfolio evolution, as well as trade strategy and talent capability development. He was appointed as President and CEO, BAT Canada (Imperial Tobacco Canada) in 2015 where he continues to make a demonstrable contribution to the transformation of this complex and often controversial business.
Mike Eppel Biography:
Mike Eppel has been reporting on the financial markets and corporate news for more than 25 years. As a graduate of Ryerson’s Radio and Television Arts Program, Mike has worked as a markets reporter for the Toronto Stock Exchange and the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture. He was also one of the original business reporters for 680 News when the station launched in summer of 1993.
From 1999 to 2004, Mike was a business reporter for CTV NewsChannel, CTV National News, CFTO Toronto and BNN. He returned to 680 News as Senior Business Editor in 2004 overseeing the expansion of business coverage to Rogers All-News radio stations across Canada and Sportsnet Radio, The Fan 590. He is also seen on CityTV’s Breakfast Television in Toronto, Montreal and Calgary. Highlights of his career have included reporting from the 1998 Atlanta Summer Olympics, the Muskoka G8 Summit and numerous Ontario and Federal budgets. Mike was born and raised in Tillsonburg, Ontario on a tobacco farm.
He started in broadcasting at the age of 16 as a DJ and newsreader at the local radio station, CKOT. His broadcast travels have also taken him to radio stations in Wingham and Barrie. He also attended the University of Western Ontario, completing fourth-year courses in History and Political Science