MULLINS, SC (WBTW) – For decades, tobacco was known as a staple in the economy around the Pee Dee, and in recent years, farmers have experienced the steady decline of sales.
Mullins Marketing Center Manager Joey Hardin says it’s a business that’s full of ups and downs.
“Some days you have dry years and some days you have wet years,” said Hardin.
U.S. Tobacco Cooperative says it will add more stability by purchasing the Mullins Market Center for sales and distribution of tobacco.
CEO Tommy Bunn says they have been leasing the facility since 2005 and this has been in the makings for several months.
“We are excited to finally own the center and are looking at it as an opportunity to invest in the area and to all tobacco growers,” said Bunn.
Hardin says the new ownership will not change the management or day-to-day operations at the center.
“Nothing has changed. Everything is the same like it has been since they started contracting tobacco. It’s just they bought the facilities instead of leasing the facilities,” said Hardin.
He says this is just an opportunity for farmers to make more money in the long run.
About sixty farmers currently sell and distribute tobacco from the Mullins Marketing Center.
U.S. Tobacco Corporative says they hope their investment in the Pee Dee will attract more tobacco farmers in the future.
The Mullins Marketing Center is located at 901 NE Front Street in Mullins.