I read the article. I have no investment and interest in S&W. My interest is in Stevia. As I assumed, your information is wrong. As anyone with any information knows, you cannot patent growing/farming a non-GMO plant. This has no bearing on S&W.
You can patent a process for refining stevia, but this, again, has no bearing on S&W, or whatever the related farm (TTR?) would be doing.
I would suggest next time YOU get YOUR facts straight.
We have recently started a new business venture to pursue the development and production of stevia, and this part of our business is subject to many of the risks of a new business enterprise.
We are in the beginning stages of expanding our business to include the development of high quality stevia varieties for production and processing of the stevia extract, Rebaudioside A ("Reb-A"). We have never developed stevia varieties or worked with growers to plant and harvest stevia, and we have no stevia customers. Therefore, we face numerous uncertainties relating to this startup business, including the possibility that the stevia varieties we select for production may not produce the results we or our growers expect; our community of farmers may be uninterested in growing stevia; or we may be unable to satisfactorily contract with customers for our dried stevia product. The failure to build a successful stevia business could materially impact our growth potential.
The stevia market may not develop as we anticipate and therefore our investment in stevia may not be as profitable as we expect.
There are a number of challenges to market acceptance of stevia as a natural, non-caloric sweetener. Stevia has its own unique flavor, which can affect the taste of some foods and beverages. Other factors that could impact market acceptance include the price structure compared to other sugar substitutes and availability. If the high intensity, non-caloric sweetener market declines or if stevia fails to achieve substantially greater market acceptance than it currently enjoys, we will not be able to grow our revenue sufficiently for us to achieve consistent profitability from this portion of our business. Even if products conform to applicable safety and quality standards, sales could be adversely affected if consumers in target markets lose confidence in the safety, efficacy and quality of stevia. Adverse publicity about stevia or stevia-based products may discourage consumers from buying products that contain stevia. Any of these developments could adversely impact the amount of processed stevia leaves or extract we are able to sell, which could adversely impact our results of operations.
If demand for stevia does not increase, there may be excess capacity that could decrease the market price of stevia and reduce our revenue expectations.
Historically, stevia has been marketed and sold in the U.S. as a dietary supplement, available in natural food and health food stores. Since December 2008, stevia producers have increased production capacity in expectation of a large demand for stevia products, and we have started our pilot stevia operation because we expect that demand for stevia will increase significantly in the future, particularly in light of the fact that Reb-A, the stevia extract, has received GRAS (meaning generally accepted as safe) status in the U.S. However, there can be no assurance that this will be the case, and if demand for stevia does not increase, the stevia market may be subject to significant excess capacity, which would put downward pressure on the market price of stevia and negatively impact our expectations with respect to stevia as a revenue source.