SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwired - Apr 30, 2013) - Stevia First Corp. (
Stevia First Corp., and Seed Dynamics, a leader in California agriculture, has pelletized stevia seeds enabling the seeds to be directly planted in order to establish large and uniform stevia fields. Stevia seeds, compared to most crop seeds, are small and lightweight, effectively eliminating direct seeding for most growers. The large majority of stevia plants are therefore grown in greenhouses then transplanted into the field. This process is costly and inhibits many farmers from adopting stevia cultivation. The successful relationship between Stevia First Corp. and Seed Dynamics demonstrates that direct seeding is feasible and may prove economically viable for California growers. Further validation of this work and field-scale implementation will be performed by Stevia First in direct collaboration with local conventional and organic growers.
Stevia First Corp. is currently using California grown stevia leaf for several R&D projects. The leaf is being used as feedstock for novel fermentation processes, in order to validate modern stevia extraction and purification methods, and to obtain new plant genomic information. Fermentation-based stevia production methods may bypass or greatly diminish the need for stevia leaf production, which by some estimates accounts for 70% or more of the total costs of traditional stevia extract production. Through deployment of the Company's fermentation and agricultural technologies, Stevia First Corp. aims to create a sustainable domestic supply of great-tasting stevia products that is not dependent on overseas stevia plantations.
"We're pleased to be working with Stevia First to help expand the stevia industry in California," said Curtis Vaughan, General Manager of Seed Dynamics.
"This is exciting news for every grower in California who wants to be a part of the burgeoning stevia industry," said Robert Brooke, CEO of Stevia First. "Small groups of sophisticated growers, agronomists, and technologists are proving that they can rapidly adopt a new crop and optimize its economic potential for our region."
About Stevia First Corp. (
Stevia First Corp. is seeking to establish a vertically-integrated enterprise in the U.S. that uses technological expertise in fermentation-based stevia production and improves upon traditional stevia farming and processing methods. 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 Seed Dynamics, Inc.
Seed Dynamics helps growers get the most from their seeds. We take an innovative approach to seed technologies and a traditional approach to relationships. As a leader in seed coatings, we know it's both our people and our products that set us apart. For more information, visit: www.seeddynamics.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.