INDIANAPOLIS, IN -- (Marketwire) -- 03/29/12 -- Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV) ("Stevia Corp." or the "Company"), a farm management company focused on the economic development of stevia, the fastest growing product in the alternative sweetener sector, wishes to advise of its recent entry into a Letter of Intent ("LOI") with Fish International Sourcing House Pte Ltd ("FISH"), a Singapore registered international seafood company with processing facilities and offices in China, Hong Kong, Indonesia and Thailand (www.fishgroup.com.sg).
Backed by over 35 years of experience, FISH specializes in the manufacturing, distribution, import and export of high-quality deep frozen seafood products. FISH's main markets include China, the European Union, Middle-East, Russia and South-East Asia.
Under the terms of the LOI, the parties intend to negotiate and enter into a definitive agreement whereby FISH will manage post-harvest facilities to process aquaculture seafood nourished with Stevia Corp.'s proprietary formulations supplemented with stevia. As part of such agreement, FISH proposes to distribute minimum volumes of the processed seafood supplemented with stevia to its international customers. The seafood would include packaging highlighting and promoting the use of Stevia Corp.'s formulations and their application in sustainable aquaculture practices.
Over a billion human beings worldwide depend on seafood as their primary source of animal protein, particularly in coastal areas where reliance on fish is normally higher. Seafood contributes around 50% of total animal protein in much of Asia. The Asia-Pacific aquaculture industry had total revenue of $87 billion in 2010, representing a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 17% for the period spanning 2006-2010. Industry production volumes increased with a CAGR of 6.3% between 2006 and 2010, to reach a total of 47 million tons in 2010. The performance of the industry is forecast to drive the industry to a value of $135 billion by the end of 2015. (Source: Data Monitor)
Alvin Loy, FISH Managing Director, comments, "My family has been in the seafood business for over three decades and has seen the continuous decline of wild caught seafood. Our company's future growth requires us to embrace best practices in aquaculture to ensure a sustainable long-term supply and we have been in search of a credible partner who understands the importance of top quality aquaculture practices and food safety. We are very excited by the opportunity to collaborate with Stevia Corp. and their partners in order to introduce a stevia supplemented aquaculture seafood program to our international customers."
George Blankenbaker, Stevia Corp. President, comments, "Sustainable farming practices are a key principal of Stevia Corp.'s mission and by working in concert with partners like Tech-New Bio-Technology under our recent Cooperative Agreement, we are able to easily develop and manage sustainable programs for both agriculture and aquaculture. We are honored that FISH has indicated their desire to enter into a mutually beneficial growth proposition, which provides an excellent international platform to promote Stevia Corp.'s sustainable programs and formulations enhanced with stevia."
Further details of the Company's business, finances, appointments and agreements can be found as part of the Company's continuous public disclosure as a reporting issuer under the Securities Exchange Act of 1934 filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission's ("SEC") EDGAR database. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
About Stevia Corp. (OTCBB: STEV)
Stevia Corp. is a farm management company focused on best practice agronomic competency in order to develop high value stevia through proprietary plant breeding, excellent agricultural methodologies and innovative post-harvest techniques. To date, the Company has acquired two grower supply contracts and three nursery fields in Vietnam. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
About the Stevia Industry Sector
Within two years of the USA market opening, Nielsen-based retail consumption data indicated almost $1 billion of retail sales for the sector. In 2010, stevia products were launched across thirty-five countries and in 38 categories. Zenith International estimates worldwide sales of stevia extract reached 3,500 tons in 2010 with an overall market value of $285 million and forecasts the global market for stevia will reach 11,000 tons by 2014 requiring the tripling of stevia leaf production at the farm level to keep pace with consumer demand. For more information visit: www.steviacorp.us.
Notice Regarding Forward-Looking Statements
This news release contains "forward-looking statements" as that term is defined in Section 27A of the United States Securities Act of 1933, as amended and Section 21E 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, introduction of a stevia supplemented aquaculture seafood program, the development of new business opportunities, entry into new markets, size and growth of the aquaculture industry, worldwide sales of stevia extract and sweetened products, growth of stevia leaf production and growth of the stevia global market. 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.