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US: Stevia Corp signs Agro Genesis development deal

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Stevia Corp has entered into a development agreement with Singapore-based agribusiness firm Agro Genesis.

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The two-year deal sees US-based farm management company Stevia Corp become the exclusive distributor for Agro Genesis' crop production technique for stevia in the US, known as the 'g'farm system'. The technique is designed to use "sustainable farming practices and chemical-free solutions" to produce crops, Stevia Corp said yesterday (24 October).

The tie-up sees all technology-related patents resulting from the project become co-owned by Stevia Corp and Agro Genesis, with Stevia Corp maintaining first refusal rights for the use and distribution of yielded patents.

"We believe this agreement will significantly spur our growth in the sector," said Stevia Corp's president, George Blankenbaker. "Given the rapid global adoption of Stevia, the market is expanding at an amazing rate and we are committed to placing ourselves firmly in the forefront of the opportunity Stevia clearly represents."

In July, the EU's Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health voted to recommend the use of stevia as an ingredient in food and beverages. A final ruling is expected later this year. In the US, the US Food & Drug Administration cleared the use of several ranges in 2008. In France, products containing stevia have been on sale for around two years.


Sectors: Soft drinks, Water

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