“Father of Stevia” James May promotes stevia in Latin America

“Father of Stevia” James May promotes stevia in Latin America

The SweetLeaf founder addressed Second Annual Stevia Federation of the Americas and discussed the opportunity for stevia production in the Americas.

James May, Founder and CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands®, makers of SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener, was recently invited to speak about the state of stevia in the United States and in Europe at the prestigious second annual Federation Americana de la Stevia (Stevia Federation of the Americas) in Cancun, Mexico. May is the Honorary President of the Stevia Federation of the Americas. Inspired by May’s speech, a professor from a well-known university in Colombia later commented, “Mr. May is the icon we are trying to follow.”

Stevia, the naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay, is rapidly gaining attention and popularity worldwide as an all-natural, healthier alternative to sugar and artificial sweeteners. May spoke in detail about the benefits of stevia as a crop in South and Central America, addressing representatives from Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, the Dominican Republic, Ecuador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay, Peru, Uruguay, Canada, and the United States. Also present were representatives from INIFAP (National Institute of Forestry and Farm Research) and SAGARPA (Secretary of Agriculture, Livestock, Rural Development, Fisheries and Food). May called stevia a “significant economic boost” to the nations where it grows. Depending on the area and weather conditions, the plant can yield anywhere from three to eight harvests per year, positively affecting local families and businesses.

During his speech, May painted a vivid picture of the impressive opportunity available for stevia production in the Americas.

“When I first brought stevia to the United States nearly 30 years ago, no one had ever heard of it and none was being consumed in the United States,” said May. “But it is estimated that 47.7 tons of stevia were consumed in the United States in 2010. Let’s hope we can significantly increase this number by the end of 2012.”

“If we, as united Americans, want to participate in the growth of the stevia market, we must work together to produce the best-quality leaves,” May added. “From these we can produce the highest-quality stevia extract, which is used to create delicious tasting sweeteners – and all at competitive prices, all along the supply chain.”

James May was named Honorary President of the Stevia Federation of the Americas in 2009 and was re-elected in November 2010. He is world known as the “Father of Stevia” for his lifetime of work and dedication to bringing stevia to the U.S. His company’s stevia sweetener, SweetLeaf Stevia®, is the only all-natural stevia sweetener available on the U.S. market. To date, SweetLeaf Stevia® offers more than 20 stevia products, from teabags to tabletop sweeteners – more than any other company in the world.

To learn more about SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener, please visit www.SweetLeaf.com.

About SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener
It all started with one man who had a dream – James May, Founder and CEO of Wisdom Natural Brands®. Stevia is a naturally sweet herb native to Paraguay that has been consumed for centuries. After tasting stevia leaves given to him by a Peace Corps worker, May made it his mission to bring the extract from the deliciously sweet plant to the United States. May is now world known as “The Father of Stevia.”

May’s perseverance and dedication to bringing stevia to the U.S. ultimately resulted in SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener, a 100% natural sweetener with zero calories, zero-carbohydrates, zero-glycemic index, and zero chemicals. Only cool, purified water and high-grade stevia leaves are used in its “green” processing. SweetLeaf® is the 2010-2011 Global Stevia Products Award winner for taste, technology and sustainability.

In March 2011, The American Herbal Products Association (AHPA) awarded James May the 2011 AHPA Visionary Award, in recognition of unwavering, persistent dedication in the advancement of all-natural stevia. May was also was presented with the Lifetime Achievement Award by Stevia World International in June 2010. Today, May is a leading expert on stevia and travels across the world promoting the benefits of the stevia plant.

Wisdom Natural Brands®, a leading U.S. manufacturer of stevia products, offers SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener in convenient double-serving packets. SweetLeaf Stevia® Sweetener is sold in boxes containing either 35 or 70 packets. Each packet replaces two teaspoons of sugar. SweetLeaf® is also sold in the SweetLeaf Stevia Plus® Shaker Bottle for easy home use and SweetLeaf SteviaTabs™ Dissolvable Tablets for easy on-the-go use.

For more information, visit www.wisdomnaturalbrands.com.

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