Sweet Green Fields, a leading U.S. based global producer of stevia extracts, announced its plans to significantly expand its stevia crop in the Southeastern U.S. Based on the crop's performance during the 2012 growing season, along with the support Sweet Green Fields has received following its introduction to the region, the company is committed to expanding its grower base and working with its partners to significantly bolster its supply of American-grown, high-purity stevia extracts.

In 2012, Sweet Green Fields worked with grower partners in Georgia and North Carolina to produce the first commercial stevia crops in Southeast U.S. With the support of the Georgia Department of Agriculture, the North Carolina Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services, along with the Colleges of Agriculture from land grant universities in both states, Sweet Green Fields is committed to supporting economic development in agribusiness communities that have been negatively impacted by a changing crop landscape and reduced opportunities.

"We are extremely pleased with the performance of our 2012 crop and we are very excited about the aggressive growth plan we have in place for 2013," commented Hal Teegarden, Vice President of Agricultural Operations for Sweet Green Fields. "The response of our varieties to the environment, the regional expertise and technology to produce crops in a sustainable model and the support we have received from our agribusiness partners in the region, all back our plan to significantly bolster our supply of American-grown stevia."

As an agricultural leader, Sweet Green Fields is committed to developing and implementing sustainable and socially responsible practices, and working with its grower partners and stakeholder community, to leverage technologies and uphold its commitments to the Good Agricultural Practices (GAP) in order to ensure responsible and sustainable stevia production.

"Sweet Green Fields developed and implemented harvest and handling practices that are consistently delivering a 35-percent increase in leaf yield and a corresponding glycoside yield increase on a per acre basis," said Teegarden.  

Offering one of the most extensive stevia crop science research portfolios with innovations in plant breeding, growing and harvesting, Sweet Green Fields achieves consistently high yields of sweetener per plant, with varieties yielding 80-90 percent of the desired steviol glycoside content, while maintaining quality standards with the lowest cost.

Sweet Green Fields is known for its science based, industry-leading research practices, such as the patented, natural Fast Precipitation Process that extracts high quality stevia glycosides in a fraction of the time compared to standard industry methods. Sweet Green Fields markets the newly released, Optesse Stevia HPS and HPX along with Altesse SteviaTM 99, Sweetesse Stevia TM 97 and 95, and Greenesse Stevia TM 80, 60 and 50. The company operates as a global, vertically integrated supplier, guaranteeing quality and control in every step of the process, from seed to final sweetener.