SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire -04/19/12)- Stevia First Corp. (OTC.BB: STVF.OB - News) ("Stevia First" or the "Company"), an early-stage agribusiness based in California's Central Valley growing region and focused on the industrial scale production of stevia, the all-natural zero-calorie sweetener that is rapidly transforming the food and beverage industry, is pleased to announce the acquisition and delivery of stevia seed stock and tissue culture destined for regional trials and advanced studies.
The initial shipment of commercial grade stock is from a large foreign grower and processor of stevia extracts. The seed is being analyzed for use as a baseline varietal aimed at launching the Company's study of plantation scale cultivation in the area. Proof-of-concept trials with stevia were originally undertaken regionally in California over 10 years ago by a number of companies and government backed researchers and institutions who sought to grow stevia well before the regulatory approval of steviol glycosides as a food additive in the United States. Although the results of that research led to some stevia farming activity in California for commercial purposes, it is limited to several small-scale growing operations conducting most of the known stevia planting.
Going forward, the company plans to internally evaluate non-proprietary stevia varieties as well as seed and culture materials provided through licensing arrangements with research or commercial partners. Stevia First plans to conduct most research internally or through arrangements within a collaborative framework with commercial or research partners wherein Stevia First will secure certain rights to use or further develop stevia varieties, in order to support commercial-scale stevia planting operations in California.
Company CEO Robert Brooke states, "This announcement will propel us into stevia planting and research and development operations, and it means we are on track for our 2012 growing schedule. At every step of the process we aim to be furthering our understanding of how best to optimize our crop development methods and we look forward to implementing those practices aimed at maximizing the yield from our first commercial harvest as soon as practicable."
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: www.steviafirst.com.
About Stevia First Corp. (OTC.BB: STVF.OB - News)
Stevia First Corp. is seeking to establish a vertically-integrated stevia enterprise in the U.S. with expertise in stevia seed and tissue propagation, plant breeding, and cultivation. Stevia First's U.S. operations are located in the heart of California's Central Valley, one of the world's most productive agricultural regions. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
About the Stevia Industry
The market for all-natural, zero-calorie stevia sweeteners is expanding rapidly. The World Health Organization (WHO) estimates stevia intake could eventually replace 20-30% of all dietary sweeteners. The total global sweetener market was estimated at $58.3 billion in 2010. For more information visit: www.steviafirst.com.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27(a) of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21(e) 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, projections of worldwide sales of stevia products, growth of stevia production and global markets. 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.