SOURCE: Stevia First Corporation
SACRAMENTO, CA--(Marketwire - Sep 17, 2012) - Stevia First Corp. (OTCBB: STVF) ("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 and welcomes the addition of Mr. Reg Dong as its newest advisory board member.
Mr. Dong is the founder and developer of leading Chinese stevia manufacturer, Qualipride International (www.healthsweet.com). He has enjoyed a lengthy career in the stevia marketplace beginning in 1996 as a virtual pioneer in the sector. Mr. Dong brings an extensive knowledge across the business spectrum of stevia growing, processing, refining and distribution techniques. His efforts have been instrumental in the development of proprietary methodologies for both decreasing the cost of processing and refining stevia as well as significantly increasing production yields.
Qualipride is a professional manufacturer of highly purified steviol glycosides and various extracts including highly purified rebaudioside A and highly purified stevioside. With over 16 years' experience in stevia extraction and refining practice and continuous research and development, Mr. Dong's company introduced advanced technologies for industrial scale production at competitively low cost. The company operates six production facilities offering a stevia seed cultivation base for the harvest of high quality stevia seed for large scale stevia farming as well as a farming base for the harvest of stevia leaves. Total annual production capacity is currently aimed at 2,500 metric tons. The Company also operates a processing research and development institute (Zibo Inchcape Industry Inc.), for stevia extraction and refining technology innovation including facility design and engineering plus technical training for stevia production. Worldwide sales managed by Qualipride International Ltd. deliver a range of products manufactured with strict quality control practices (ISO9001), food safety ISO22000, Halal, Kosher, and EU organic certifications. The company is one of the few suppliers achieving quantity and quality in conformity with stevia quality specifications as outlined by the U.S. FDA, the EU and the FAO/ WHO JECFA (2010).
Company CEO Robert Brooke states, "The acceptance by Reg Dong to work with us in an advisory capacity is a coup for the Company. There aren't many individuals like Reg, who brings competence and demonstrated success in the stevia sector. We trust his experience and extensive industry relationships will prove invaluable as we bring the stevia industry to the United States in a significant way."
About Stevia First Corp. (OTCBB: STVF)
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 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.