Capaste’s membership into the ISC comes after the 2016 International Stevia Symposium in Paraguay. Stevia’s use as a natural sweetener has been booming worldwide recently, largely due to collaboration between leaves growers and refiners. At the symposium, ISC estimated that the global market growth of high purity stevia extracts would top US$10 billion over the next two decades. Stevia agricultural opportunities would represent US$3 to US$4 billion, with South America (including Paraguay) seeing a potential US$2 billion in benefits and opportunities.
“Paraguay and its South American neighbours are at the heart of the stevia leaves agricultural industry, so it is important for those farmers to have a voice within the ISC,” said Adriana Nosewicz, ISC regulatory affairs manager. “It is similarly relevant for producers of stevia leaf extracts and for users of stevia as an ingredient to share knowledge and know-how within an industry platform such as the ISC.”
Insights and collaborations between Capaste and ISC will aim to inform the decisions of local farmers and authorities.
Juan Barboza, Capaste president said, “The stevia plant is a wonderful and ancestral plant originally from Paraguay; its cultivation enhances social and economic development of local family farmers. Stevia perfectly fits the current trend of consuming natural, healthy and sustainable food and helps calorie reduction, thus reducing the alarming rates of obesity, diabetes and other related diseases.”