July 27/Itapúa, Paraguay /4-traders.com -- PureCircle announced the expansion of its stevia supply in the agricultural lands of Itapúa, Paraguay, with the planting of the first 13 hectares of Stevia in partnership with the Kress Group. This latest agricultural expansion in Latin America is in keeping with PureCircle's strategic goals.

These 13 hectares are in fields owned by the Kress Group. The company, headquartered in Asunción, Paraguay, is best known for its Frutika brand of fruit juices.  Frutika owns approximately 20,000 hectares of land that are currently used to cultivate many crops and can accommodate future expansion for Stevia.

“Our agreement with Frutika is especially sweet because they are now a full supply chain partner,” says Fernando Chilavert, managing director for PureCircle South America S.A. “In addition to being a customer, now they are also one of our farmers. So we have in a way completed a full circle, where a valued customer becomes a key supplier of our own, proprietary variety of Stevia leaves,” he adds.

The expansion in Paraguay builds on PureCircle’s existing agricultural development in Kenya, China, the U.S. and 12 additional countries in which it maintains agricultural operations.

From the July 28, 2011,Prepared Foods' Daily News.