Total global leaf for the harvests in 2010 was estimated at 70,000 to 100,000 tonnes. The vast majority of leaf (90%) is still grown in China and most of it is lower quality leaf.
Leaf accounts for nearly 80% of refined stevia product cost. The higher the quality and the more consistent the leaf, the more efficient and economical will be the refining process. By combining excellent plant stock with an efficient farming and production base, stevia costs will become more economical rivaling the likes of sucralose and further increasing demand.
Both leaf quantity and quality need to be scaled. Few companies currently have experience growing high Reb-A producing stevia on a commercial scale because it is a newly developing commercial crop. Agronomics takes time to scale as new growing areas are confirmed, high quality Reb-A plants are bred and adopted to local climates and local farmers learn new farming systems and protocols.
By implementing proper agronomic practice with solid farm management, Stevia Corp. aims to create competitive advantage and be able to economically impact the supply chain and create a discernable value for its systems and services.