SOURCE: Stevia Corp.

Stevia Corp.

November 09, 2011 09:00 ET

Stevia Corp. Updates Strategic Plans for Commercial Stevia Production

INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwire - Nov 9, 2011) - Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV) ("Stevia Corp." or the "Company"), a farm management company focused on the economic development of Stevia, the fastest growing product in the alternative sweetener sector, is pleased to offer a summary of current and planned activities targeting the rapid penetration and positioning of the Company as a future leader in the multi-billion dollar alternative sweeteners sector.

Stevia Corp is an international company with current operations in South East Asia with plans to develop domestically in the USA. The current Asian operations are coordinated in Singapore to ensure timely, consistent and clear direction within the areas of operation.

The large scale commercialization of Stevia is currently under development and many of the decisions underway now will impact future revenues and require a full spectrum of expertise to properly manage the outcome. In order to efficiently accomplish our goals during this initial phase, Stevia Corp has formed strategic partnerships with Agro Genesis Pte Ltd and Growers Synergy Pte Ltd., both highly specialized agribusiness companies engaged to run Asian operations and work with local partners to manage in-country farmer and government relations.

As part of the strategic partnership with Agro Genesis, Stevia Corp will co-own any technology related patents (e.g. new varieties, propagation technology, cultivation programs, harvest and post-harvest processes) resulting from the engagement. Stevia Corp will also have the right of first offer for the use and distribution rights of yielded patents resulting from the engagement. Stevia Corp will also be the exclusive distributor for Agro Genesis G-Farm system (powered by MS Technology)* for growing Stevia and Agro Genesis will be the exclusive technology partner to support the distribution.

Growers Synergy has been engaged to manage in-country operations and is a regional agribusiness company that operates its own farms as well as provides farm management services and guaranteed off-take agreements to contract farmers in both Vietnam and Indonesia. The relationship with Growers Synergy and the ability to provide off-take agreements for the non-Stevia crops produced as part of the multi/inter-cropping component of the G-Farm system provides several strategic advantages as follows:

  • The multi/inter-cropping provides many agronomic benefits that deliver more productive crop yields, multiple revenue streams, year round growth and overall sustainability.
  • Stevia Corp is able to offer farmers off-take agreements for all crops that they produce without taking on market risk for the non-Stevia crops.
  • The process of convincing farmers to grow Stevia will be enhanced by being able to offer farmers higher quality seeds, better inputs, proven protocols and higher prices for traditional crops that they are familiar with if they commit to grow Stevia as part of the multi/inter-cropping model.
  • Each new area that Stevia is introduced to will take time to acclimate the Stevia plant and this process can only progress at the speed of the biological clock of the plant. In the meantime, while Stevia is being trialed and tested, the multi/inter-crops will produce earlier revenue.

Stevia Corp selected to begin its efforts in Vietnam for a number of reasons and believes that Vietnam has the potential to be the next major area of high Reb-A leaf production in Asia outside of China. Vietnam's close proximity to China provides for quicker adaptation of existing high Reb-A strains of Stevia and also provides the opportunity of several harvests per year. Stevia is sensitive to frost and most areas in China only produce one or two harvests per year. It is believed that Vietnam can better benefit from the perennial attributes of Stevia and holds the potential for multiple harvests during the year without requiring replanting each year thus enhancing both yield and cost of production. Vietnam is also one of the most productive agricultural countries and a world leader in coffee and rice production and Stevia Corp intends to leverage the excellent agricultural base for the adoption of Stevia.

Production in the US is also intended but will take time to research. Stevia Corp is evaluating the best options for entry into the US market and is also preparing a request for proposal which will be circulated among targeted research institutes to provide in-depth research into specific areas that Stevia Corp has identified as major success factors for large scale commercialization of Stevia in the US.

Mr. George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp. President, comments, "Our program is ambitious and is not going to come to fruition overnight. We are attempting to capture a significant share of an exploding industry sector with immense potential; this takes vision, planning and a lot of skills and expertise applied in a very direct and considered fashion. I was raised on a farm in Indiana and know that what we are doing is completely achievable and can be extraordinarily successful for everyone prepared to go the distance. A new crop with the potential for economic success like Stevia doesn't come along every day. We are really looking forward to taking the fruits of our labors and bringing them home to the U.S. where I envision Stevia becoming a major economic driver and cash crop that could prove hugely beneficial to our American farmers."

Further details of the Company's business, finances, appointments and agreements can be found as part of the Company's continuous public disclosure as a reporting issuer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") EDGAR database. For more information visit:

*G-Farm Systems and MS Technology are trademarks of Agro Genesis Pte. Ltd.

About Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV)
Stevia Corp. is a farm management company focused on best practice agronomic competency in order to deliver high value stevia through proprietary plant breeding, excellent agricultural methodologies and innovative post-harvest techniques. To date, the Company has acquired two grower supply contracts and three nursery fields in Vietnam. For more information visit:

About the Stevia Industry Sector
Within two years of the USA market opening, Nielsen-based retail consumption data indicated almost $1 billion of retail sales for the sector. Market research group, Mintel, has said it expects sales of stevia sweetened products to top $2 billion in 2011. In 2010, stevia products were launched across thirty-five countries and in 38 categories. Zenith International estimates worldwide sales of stevia extract reached 3,500 tons in 2010 with an overall market value of $285 million and forecasts the global market for stevia will reach 11,000 tons by 2014 requiring the tripling of stevia leaf production at the farm level to keep pace with consumer demand. For more information visit:

Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E of the Securities Exchange Act of 1934, as amended. Statements in this press release which are not purely historical are forward-looking statements and include any statements regarding beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions regarding the future. Such forward-looking statements include, among other things, deployment and adoption of G-Farm system, profitable harvests for farmers that adopt the G-Farm system, potential future acquisitions, implementation of effective farm systems, the development of new business opportunities, entry into new markets, worldwide sales of stevia extract and sweetened products, growth of stevia leaf production and growth of the stevia global market. Actual results could differ from those projected in any forward-looking statements due to numerous factors. Such factors include, among others, the inherent uncertainties associated with new projects and development stage companies. These forward-looking statements are made as of the date of this news release, and we assume no obligation to update the forward-looking statements, or to update the reasons why actual results could differ from those projected in the forward-looking statements. Although we believe that any beliefs, plans, expectations and intentions contained in this press release are reasonable, there can be no assurance that any such beliefs, plans, expectations or intentions will prove to be accurate. Investors should consult all of the information set forth herein and should also refer to the risk factors disclosure outlined in our annual report on Form 10-K for the most recent fiscal year, our quarterly reports on Form 10-Q and other periodic reports filed from time-to-time with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

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