The Real Stevia Company’s subsidiary Granular PY has signed a partnership agreement with Manduvirá Cooperative, Paraguay’s leading cooperative for the production of organic sugar canes and industrialization of organic cane sugar in the country. The collaboration strengthens both companies’ work with smallholder farmers and their families. Together the companies improve living conditions for approximately 5,500 people in the Paraguayan countryside.
The Real Stevia Company’s subsidiary Granular PY, a leader in organically grown stevia leaves, today signed an agreement with the Manduvirá Cooperative that is Paraguay’s leading cooperative for the production of organic sugar cane and industrialization of organic cane sugar. The collaboration aims to create better living conditions for Paraguayan smallholder farmers by exchanging knowledge and experience in modern ecological farming methods.
- We are two organizations with a common set of values in which we work with smallholder farmers for organic and Fairtrade certified production. With this partnership, we can support Manduvirá Cooperative’s farmers to diversify their production. By offering them stevia as an additional crop to sugar, together we can provide them with better incomes, all year round, says Margarita Duarte, Managing Director of Granular PY.
The agreement with the Manduvirá Cooperative means Granular PY will support them with technical support, assist in exchange of experiences between farmers from different regions and provide internship programs for students.
- This cooperation will be valuable for Manduvirás 900 members and their families. In addition, growing stevia is lighter than growing sugar cane, which makes it possible for women to participate in agricultural activities, says Andres Gonzalez, General Manager Manduvirá Cooperative.
Granular PY has a strong sustainability profile and has since 2007 worked with smallholder farmers in Paraguay for the production of organically grown stevia leaves. By assisting farmers with seedlings, training, technical support and teaching them how to grow stevia in a sustainable way it has led to a positive impact in the lives of over 1,500 people. Cooperation with Manduvirá Cooperative means that the company will be able to make an even bigger difference.
- We are proud to work with such an internationally respected company like Manduvirá Cooperative to our production of organically grown stevia leaves. This is a cooperation which reinforces our world-leading position in this rapidly growing market. Together, we will improve the living conditions of approximately 5,500 families, says Carl Horn af Rantzien, Founder of The Real Stevia Company.
Stevia has been used as a sweetener by the Guarani-Indians of Paraguay since ancient times. By mixing stevia with sugar a reduction of up to 50% of the sugar in a product can be achieved without affecting taste or product characteristics.
- There is already a strong growing market for a sugar product with reduced calorie and natural origin, that is to say, a mixture of organic sugar and stevia. Cooperation between the Manduvirá Cooperative and Granular PY means we are at the forefront while continuing to do good for society and the environment through an organic and Fairtrade-certified production, says Luis Ruiz Diaz, President of the Manduvirá Cooperative.
Highlights of the partnership:
- Granular PY will support Manduvirá Cooperative with technical support, assist in exchange of experiences between farmers from different regions and provide internship programs for students.
- The cooperation will extend over three years.
- In total, 900 hectares used for cultivation of certified organic stevia leaves.
- The cooperation will improve the lives of 5,500 people in the Paraguayan countryside.
ABOUT THE REAL STEVIA COMPANY - GRANULAR
Granular is a Swedish food company that produces, markets and sells stevia leaves and stevia extracts to the global food industry. Our vision is a world where people can choose sustainably sweetened products without health implications. The Real Stevia Company has control over the entire supply chain and collaborates with farmers in Paraguay and other countries where the stevia plant is grown. The company provides a socially and environmentally sustainable product helping to raise farmers’ living standards while meeting the quality and safety requirements of the European food industry.