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Thread: STEV - More potential that it is given credit for...

  1. Default STEV - More potential that it is given credit for...

    Stevia Corp. is an agricultural firm based in the United States, which is coming out of its 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.

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    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.

    Stevia Corp. 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.

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    “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.

    Stevia’s search for stevia production fields led it to Vietnam. It is believed that Vietnam can better benefit from the perennial attributes of Stevia and holds the potential for multiple harvests during the year without requiring replanting each year thus enhancing both yield and cost of production.

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    Investment Potential

    It should be noted that Stevia Corp. is still in its development stage and did not report any real sales revenue in its Sept. 30, 2011, income statement, as per its 10-Q filing. However, this is in no way a red flag should you understand how beginning stage agri businesses and whole sale distributions channels work.

    Stevia “has a very attractive entry point, and prices could continue to rise steadily with some very real potential to rocket past the $1.00 mark! I recommend you begin your research on STEV immediately! We see some very real potential for gains in the intermediate term and beyond,” according to an October 2011 article on the StockMarketWatch website.

    We are here now - 2014 and there have been some major advancements with the company.

    “Companies were ready to jump into the market with a wave of kitchen and tabletop stevia formulations and stevia-sweetened products the moment the FDA gave it GRAS [Generally Recognized As Safe] status in December 2008, and have since formed partnerships and entered into mergers and acquisitions as part of strategies to exploit this market,” said David Sprinkle, publisher of Packaged Facts, in an August 2011 press release.

    In 2008, approximately $20 million worth of stevia products were sold in the global retail market. The market potential for 2011 ranged between $800 million and $2 billion, with 76 new products that contain stevia being introduced into the market.

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    The European Union Standing Committee on Food Chain and Animal Health approved high-purity stevia for use as a food ingredient in July 2011, according to the Packaged Facts press release.

    “Following approval in Europe, Packaged Facts expects sales of products containing stevia to skyrocket. European approval is projected to trigger approval across Africa and the Middle East, and global approval is widely expected by the end of 2012,” the Packaged Facts press release stated.

    The stevia extract global market could reach 11,000 tons by end of 2014, necessitating stevia production to increase to at least three times the 2011 level.

    On May 15, 2014 Stevia Corp. Achieved Spring Harvest Forecast Doubling the Previous Year's Harvest. Stevia Corp. harvested more than 2,000 tons of crops during the spring harvest of 2014, doubling the 2013 spring harvest. The majority of the spring harvest occurred during the Company's fourth quarter ending March 31, 2014 with the balance occurring during the current quarter ending June 30, 2014.

    George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp President, comments, "We are continuing to diversify our crop portfolio and add international clients. To date, we are working with the largest food conglomerate in South Korea, a major importer to Europe, and we are in talks with a major Fortune 500 company to supply its South East Asian operations. Our model is working, now it is a matter of scaling it."

    Mr. Blankenbaker continues, "With our production base firmly in place, we are focused on developing the US market and increasing our margins with higher value added products. Real Hemp LLC, our US subsidiary, will play a central role in this effort. We are currently confirming final details of our initial products for the US market with the intent to go live with our Real Hemp website in June 2014."

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