Heartland Food Products Group, maker of Splenda Brand Sweeteners, recently announced that it is looking for partnerships to grow high-quality Splenda stevia plants 100% in the U.S. The brand is actively seeking farmers to embrace the crop and intends to be in production by June 2021.
“Today, as American farmers face numerous challenges, the introduction of a new crop is a viable and exciting option,” the company said, adding that the high-value crop could yield significantly more value than current options and would grow particularly well in the South and Southeast regions.
"We are passionate about bringing the best products to market, and for us, that includes sourcing directly from U.S. farmers. We're putting out this call for interested farmers because we know this is good for farmers and good for our loyal Splenda stevia users," Heartland chairman and chief executive officer Ted Gelov said.
The Splenda stevia produced by these plants will be the highest grade and will focus on the sweetest glycosides, Heartland said. The initiative builds on a decade of research to identify and cultivate the best stevia plants for producing the cleanest-tasting zero-calorie sweetness. The company has pioneered a mobile extraction process allowing farmers to extract the sugar-like stevia glycosides from the stevia leaf right at the farm.
"Stevia has the potential to be an important U.S. agricultural crop," Gelov said. "We are in the process of developing partnerships with farmers interested in growing stevia and value its importance in the fight against obesity and diabetes by providing an all-natural, zero-calorie alternative to sugar for consumers."