Stevia pioneer and SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener founder James May will share his compelling stevia story and vision during the upcoming inaugural AHPA (American Herbal Products Association) Botanical Congress, a key event at the SupplySide MarketPlace 2012. His insightful account, “The Next Big Thing? Bringing a New Botanical to Market,” will take place on Tuesday, May 8, at the Javits Center in New York City.
May, widely known as “the Father of Stevia,” will be one of a select group of speakers taking part in the first AHPA Botanical Congress, a full-day, executive-level educational symposium focusing on the business of herbs and botanicals. Supported by VIRGO Health & Nutrition, the botanical seminar will take place from 9am to 5pm on May 8, and will feature hundreds of product booths and a global audience of thousands of suppliers of innovative ingredients.
The founder and CEO of Gilbert, Arizona’s Wisdom Natural Brands, May first brought stevia to the U.S. in 1982. He worked for more than a quarter of a century to bring the natural sweetener to the American market. His perseverance and dedication resulted in SweetLeaf Stevia Sweetener, an all-natural sweetener with zero calories, zero carbohydrates, and zero glycemic index. SweetLeaf is the 2010-2011 Global Stevia Products Award winner for taste, technology and sustainability.
The same dedication that resulted in successfully bringing a healthier sweetener to the U.S. market also earned May the very first Visionary Award from the AHPA, which promotes the responsible commerce of herbal products. The award was presented in recognition of his tireless championing of stevia as an agricultural crop for family farmers in developing countries, and his promotion of stevia as a natural sweetener that could have a role in fighting childhood obesity and in preventing diabetes.