SOURCE: Sweet Green Fields

Sweet Green Fields

February 22, 2011 13:23 ET

Sweet Green Fields Punctuates First Successful USA Commercial Stevia Crop Harvest With Multiyear Supply Agreements

BELLINGHAM, WA--(Marketwire - February 22, 2011) - Sweet Green Fields (SGF), a leading producer of high purity stevia products and the first U.S. company to invent and commercialize high purity Reb A, marked another industry milestone with a successful commercial harvest of stevia grown in California. With more than a decade of U.S. stevia agriculture experience, SGF has both the experience and scale to provide a reliable stevia source to top North American food and beverage companies.

SGF's substantial investment in plant breeding has resulted in the creation of numerous unprecedented 80% plus Reb A content stevia plants. This breakthrough translates into an extremely cost efficient agriculture model for SGF, which will position its high purity Reb A products more competitively. Reb A (also known as Rebaudioside A) is the sweet good tasting glycoside extracted from stevia plants that is preferred in commercial applications for the food and beverage Industry. SGF's elite plants are at the cutting edge in both Reb A content and biomass allowing SGF to grow stevia in North America and compete effectively on cost on a global scale. With sugar pricing at record highs, SGF high purity Reb A provides a natural sweetening option that when blended with sugar reduces sweetening cost as well as calories.

Dean Francis, CEO of Sweet Green Fields, shared that while other stevia producers have their primary agriculture investments outside the U.S., SGF sought to invest in the U.S. utilizing best farming practices and technology to provide scale and reliability. "Stevia is still a young industry and one challenge for U.S. food and beverage companies is to sort out who is truly a vertically integrated provider versus a trader. When we began touring leading food and beverage companies through our commercial crops they knew we are real."

"More than eighty percent of the world's stevia originates from China due to low labor costs," added Mike Quin, SVP Sales and Marketing for SGF. "We have supply agreements with U.S. companies that have many decades of brand investment to build consumer trust. Sourcing stevia grown locally gives them added visibility and confidence in their supply chain. We have begun signing multiyear supply agreements for our U.S. crop. Leading North American companies have expressed strong interest in locally grown stevia and SGF is leading the way."

About Sweet Green Fields
Sweet Green Fields (SGF) is a leading producer of sweeteners derived from stevia including high-purity Rebaudioside-A (Reb-A). With a vertically integrated supply chain operating in three continents, SGF markets natural sweeteners globally to food and beverage companies. SGF also provides formulation assistance with its line of sweeteners. The company has formulated reduced sugar applications in beverages, dairy, baking, and confectionary.

About Rebaudioside-A (Reb-A)
Derived from the stevia plant, high purity Reb-A is the first all-natural, zero calorie high intensity sweetener that delivers on key food and beverage formulation metrics: heat stable, pH stable, low Glycemic index, zero calories, shelf stable, non GMO and cost competitive on a sweetening unit basis.

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