London UK, 13 February 2019: Tate & Lyle PLC (Tate & Lyle), a leading global provider of food and beverage ingredients and solutions, together with its stevia partner Sweet Green Fields*, is pleased to announce a new research project to assess the sustainability of the stevia sweetener supply chain. Earthwatch, an independent, international non-profit environmental science-based organisation, is leading the stevia supply chain review, which aims to identify steps to ensure that as the stevia market grows, sustainable growing practices are embedded consistently and socio-economic benefits are maximised.
Tate & Lyle, in partnership with Sweet Green Fields and Earthwatch, will use the research insights to establish and spread sustainability best practice across its stevia supply chains and beyond.
Stevia is a naturally sourced low calorie sweetener that is increasingly popular with food and beverage producers looking for consumer-friendly, great-tasting sugar alternatives that help them to reduce sugar and calories in their products. Much of the world’s stevia supply is grown in China on a mix of small to larger farms, including the leaf for Tate & Lyle’s stevia ingredients and those produced by its partner, Sweet Green Fields.
Earthwatch-led local scientists have begun conducting on-the-ground research in China to evaluate the socio-environmental impacts of stevia production, including analysing soil, water, waste, and energy impacts, as well as the effect on farming communities. Earthwatch will engage with a wide range of stakeholders in the stevia supply chain, from seedling producers to family-run planters and industrial farms.
Steven Loiselle, Senior Research Manager at Earthwatch, said: "Stevia farming is a key economic activity in many areas in China and a rapidly growing global ingredient for sugar replacement. Our project, working with leading researchers, producers and others, shows how multi-partner collaborations can be used to promote sustainable production. By working with local scientists and experts within China we are developing new knowledge for both Tate & Lyle, the broader stevia industry and local communities.”
Abigail Storms, VP Sweetener Platform and Global Platform Marketing at Tate & Lyle, said: “As a leading provider of stevia to the food industry, Tate & Lyle wants to ensure that using stevia in greater quantities in the future as a replacement for sugar is a responsible choice for Tate & Lyle, as well as a healthy choice for consumers around the world. We are proud to be working with our partners Sweet Green Fields and Earthwatch to support sustainable stevia production to ensure that stevia not only improves consumer lives, but also supports sustainable livelihoods and farming practices in the supply chain, with minimal impact on the environment.”
*Tate & Lyle has partnered with Sweet Green Fields Co. Ltd. to present a full profile of stevia solutions suitable for any application, bringing to the table decades of stevia expertise, a unique sweetener formulation experience, thousands of recipes, supply security and a team of experts.
Susannah Penn, Senior Communications Manager, Earthwatch
T: 01865 318 820 E: [email protected]
Earthwatch is an international environmental organisation that empowers people to save the natural world. We achieve this through direct action and policy influence on critical environmental issues. We create knowledge through rigorous and relevant science that informs decision making, whilst our engaging experiences and collaborative corporate partnerships enable people to get hands-on and make a difference. We believe that working together is essential to tackling the threats to the natural world: the impacts of climate change, the declining health of our rivers and oceans, and the loss of wildlife and habitats. www.earthwatch.org.uk
Earthwatch has been in partnership with Tate & Lyle since January 2018