Partnering with PureCircle
Growing stevia is sustainable for the planet and for your farm. When partnering with PureCircle, we guarantee our farmers the price they will receive on stevia plants.
We work with key farming communities, providing access to proprietary varieties so they can benefit from the global leaf market under competitive conditions. This creates a reliable supply of ethically and sustainably sourced stevia that positively contributes to livelihoods.
Our reduced risk approach, extensive technical support and constant research to find the best, high quality stevia varieties provide growers with an industry-leading partnership opportunity.
Why Grow Stevia
Sugar reduction has become a major topic for most leading food and beverage brands around the world, and as consumers seek more and more naturality, stevia is the fastest growing high intensity sweetener in the world.
As the emerging sweetener option zero-calorie, natural-origin stevia is generating increasing demand for leaf – as it is going into mainstream foods and beverages around the world.
How to Grow Stevia
Stevia is best grown from seedlings, which can be acquired with the help of PureCircle’s support team. To facilitate growth, a nursery is required for early development. In-field crop protection inputs are minimal compared to intensely farmed food crops due to minimum pest disease occurrence. Where conditions are right, first harvest can occur 3 months after planting, and mature plants can be harvested up to four times per year thereafter.
To produce the best yields, the following conditions are considered ideal for growing stevia:
- Rainfall: Maximum 2000/2300 mm/year well spread during the year
- Without Rainfall: Stevia can also be grown in dry areas with drip irrigation so long as there is access to good, clean water
- Temperature: 15°C to 35°C
- Soil: Sandy loam with pH from 5.5 to 6.5. High organic matter
- Sun: 12 hours a day
- Altitude: Preferable below 1000m but up to 1800m
The plant requires less land than many other natural origin sweeteners, and is often considered a cash crop for farmers and can be grown in conjunction with other crops while providing income multiple times per year, making it is easily adaptable to small or large scale farms.
The majority of stevia is harvested by hand with small scale growers, but can be mechanized for large scale farms – and then easily dried before transporting.
The harvest process is usually less stressful than other crops because stevia does not to be transported when fresh. On average, the stevia growth cycle is three months enabling farmers to harvest the crop multiple times a year and providing regular income year round.