INDIANAPOLIS, IN--(Marketwire - Jul 2, 2012) - Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV) ("Stevia Corp." or the "Company"), a farm management company focused on the economic development of stevia, the fastest growing product in the alternative sweetener sector, is pleased to offer key insights regarding upcoming plans to expand its business concurrent to the commencement of the Company's commercialization and revenue generation phase.
To begin the commercialization phase, Stevia Corp. is preparing to enter into a joint venture relationship with its technology partner, Tech-New Bio-Technology ("TechNew") and their affiliates. TechNew specializes in ecological fertilizers, microbiological preparations and management systems for the agriculture and aquaculture industry. They also own and operate extraction and refinement technologies specifically designed to introduce high purity stevia extract formulations in feed and fertilizer applications. The planned collaboration with TechNew will enable the Company to vertically integrate across an entire supply chain providing the company with a growing line of value-add stevia formulated products. As part of the agreement and a subsequent result of the collaboration, our intent will be to acquire all commercial and intellectual property rights associated with stevia-specific formulations developed by Tech-New for a myriad of feed and fertilizer applications.
George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp. President, comments, "As we prepare to launch our commercial operations, it is significantly important that we maintain our technical leadership. Our partnership and planned joint venture with TechNew will enable us to continue to stay at the forefront of the sector and will aid the ongoing development of new technologies."
As the Company prepares to expand its operations, there are two primary business models available to manage farm operations. The plantation model involves the company controlling the land, assets and workers which requires substantial upfront capital cost but enables rigorous control over operations with potentially higher revenue per farmed acre. The contract farm model embraces arrangements with existing farmers who employ the company's inputs and protocols in order to produce superior crops for the company at previously negotiated contract prices. This second model enables a given company to rapidly scale over extensive areas in those instances where the company is able to efficiently manage operations and implement supervisory control.
Blankenbaker adds, "The contract farming model is by far the most difficult to manage and requires years of experience before it can be implemented successfully, but once mastered, provides the ability to scale to critical mass extraordinarily quickly and provides the fastest ramp to positive cash flow, a scenario deemed highly important for any development stage company. Our management team's extensive experience in Asia and our familiarity with Asian culture and Asian business practices gives us a decided competitive advantage over our competitors including even many multi-national companies that are much larger than Stevia Corp."
The Company therefore aims to build upon current relationships and to work closely with its partners who bring years of extensive contract farming experience and have successfully implemented equivalent models applicable to both agriculture and aquaculture operations.
Blankenbaker further comments, "We are fortunate that we can leverage our partners' successes as we enter our revenue phase and can quickly commercialize with proven models. This will enable us to maintain our industry primacy, achieve a positive EBITDA position by the end of the fiscal year and continue to rapidly scale towards critical mass while progressively evolving as a globally recognized leader within the stevia agricultural sector."
Blankenbaker concludes, "This will be no small feat and will require significant effort, but we believe the company is now positioned to achieve these goals by leveraging the partnerships and projects that we have developed. We have done substantial groundwork to clear the way to commercialize these developments and it is now time to execute."
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.steviacorp.us.
About Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV)
Stevia Corp. is a farm management company focused on best practice agronomic competency in order to deliver high value stevia through proprietary plant breeding, excellent agricultural methodologies and innovative post-harvest techniques. To date, the Company has acquired two grower supply contracts and three nursery fields in Vietnam. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
About the Stevia Industry Sector
Within two years of the USA market opening, Nielsen-based retail consumption data indicated almost $1 billion of retail sales for the sector. In 2010, stevia products were launched across thirty-five countries and in 38 categories. Zenith International estimates worldwide sales of stevia extract reached 3,500 tons in 2010 with an overall market value of $285 million and forecasts the global market for stevia will reach 11,000 tons by 2014 requiring the tripling of stevia leaf production at the farm level to keep pace with consumer demand. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E 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, commencement of commercial activities, joint ventures, strategic collaborations, development of new technologies, achieving positive EBITDA, leveraging partnerships, extension of supply chain, future acquisitions, business strategy, worldwide sales of stevia extract and sweetened products, growth of stevia leaf production and growth of the stevia global market. 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.