Stevia Corporation, a farm management company focused on the economic development of stevia, claimed to be the fastest growing product in the alternative sweetener sector, announced a business deal with Growers Synergy Pte Ltd to provide farm management supervision in Vietnam and to ensure the proprietary G-Farm production system is used by contracted Vietnamese growers.
Growers Synergy is a Singapore registered farm management company holding land leases in Indonesia and Vietnam producing crops for the domestic and export markets. The Company also supplies fresh fruit and vegetables directly to supermarkets and businesses in Asia and has built a substantial distribution network, it was explained.
International farm management is big business, and production of various crops are being directed from the U.S. What it looks like to outsiders is that stevia is being contract produced in the lowest-cost countries, much like fruit and produce being produced outside the U.S. but for U.S. consumption.
Big business in the production of stevia is what Stevia Corporation has planned based on business forecasts. The corporation explained as follows: “Within two years of the U.S. 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.”
Just like with other contract crop production, the Stevia Corporation has its own system for step-by-step rules to follow in growing stevia. The G-Farm system is a crop production system that uses sustainable farming practices and chemical-free solutions to produce crops, the corporation further explains. And they noted, integral to this system is micro suspension (MS) technology that produces MS fertilizers to increase crop yield and quality. In line with sustainable agriculture principles, the G-Farm system incorporates variety screening, crop rotation, comprehensive nutrient management and soil conservation to implement best management practices in crop production. Those that follow the G-Farm system will have guaranteed purchasing of the stevia produced.
Mr. George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp. president, states, "Growers Synergy's cross-cultural experience and deep understanding in how best to work with indigenous farmers and its ability to provide off-take agreements with ready markets for the multi/inter-crops is critical for the rapid adoption of Stevia Corp.'s G-Farm systems, which is a necessity for the successful commercialization of high Reb-A Stevia production within southeast Asia."