Stevia Corp. Aims to Maximize Profits

By Heide B. Malhotra
Heide B. Malhotra
Heide B. Malhotra
January 11, 2012 Updated: October 1, 2015
Stevia sweetners
Stevia sweetners seen in a local Whole Foods on 24th Street and Seventh Avenue in New York City on Jan. 11, 2011, in this file photo. (Credit Amal Chen/The Epoch Times).

Stevia Corp. is an agricultural firm based in the United States, which is still in the development stage. The company’s objective is to maximize its profits by applying agricultural economics to the management of farms.

The fundamentals of agricultural economics in the management of farms include researching the agricultural industry extensively, applying the most prevalent and most recently developed economic theories, researching industrial pricing structures, and assuring availability of resources needed to operate farms.

In short, firms managed under the aforementioned structure develop scientific methods for running the farming operations, including “alternatives, choices & opportunities within the framework of resource restrictions & social & personal constraints of farming business. This complex information is integrated and synthesized,” according to an article on the Krishi World website.

Getting to Know Stevia Corp. and Its Products

Stevia Corp., which before March 4, 2011, was known as Interpro Management Corp., was established in 2007 to grow and market the Stevia rabaudiana plant, which is used to produce stevia extracts.

In September 2011, Stevia began to trade on the Over-the-Counter Exchange (OTC) under the symbol STEV.

Securities traded on the OTC are traded through a dealer network and not on a centralized stock exchange, such as the New York Stock Exchange; these are companies too small to meet the centralized exchange criteria.

“Be very wary of some OTC stocks, however; the OTCBB stocks are either penny stocks or are offered by companies with bad credit records,” warns an entry on the Investopedia website.

The stevia extract, when blended with sugar, produces a product with less caloric content, thus attacking obesity, and allows people to still enjoy drinks such as coke or even a chocolate.

In 2008, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) approved the stevia extract Rebaudioside A (Reb-A), extracted from stevia leaves, for the U.S. market. Coca-Cola Co., PepsiCo Inc., and Cargill Inc. products contain the stevia extract Reb-A.

“In less than a year [after FDA approval], Stevia’s U.S. sales had passed sales figures for saccharine and aspartame. Today, Stevia is found in over 6,000 products including beverages, foods and medicines, and this number is growing rapidly as Stevia heads towards mass commoditization like sugar and high fructose corn syrup,” according to the Stevia website.

Stevia has research and development operations in the United States, Singapore, Vietnam, and Indonesia, and farms in Vietnam (3 nursery fields and 17 test fields)) and Indonesia.

In October 2011, Stevia went into strategic partnerships with Agro Genesis Pte Ltd. and Growers Synergy Pte Ltd., which mainly specialize in operating Asian agribusiness operations.

“Our program is ambitious and is not going to come to fruition overnight. We are attempting to capture a significant share of an exploding industry sector with immense potential; this takes vision, planning and a lot of skills and expertise,” said George Blankenbaker, president of Stevia Corp., in a press release.

By Dec. 13, 2011, Stevia had signed a farm management agreement in Vietnam, and a research agreement with the National Institute of Medicinal Materials in Vietnam, under which it was provided with land, buildings, facilities, and access to special equipment needed for research. It also signed an advanced research agreement with the Agricultural Science Institute of Northern Central Vietnam and a development group.