PureCircle, the world's leading producer and marketer of high-purity stevia products, announced it is making rapid progress rolling out its Sustainable Agricultural Policy and Procedures across its farmer base. “We consider our partnership with stevia farmers as critical to our sustainable growth as a business,” explains Ajay Chandran, director of corporate sustainability. “So we’ve adopted agricultural policies that guide our relationships with stevia farmers to ensure fair, responsible and ethical practices are maintained. We have targeted a complete roll-out of our new sustainable agricultural policy and procedures across our entire base of 25,000 farmers by 2015 and have made great progress so far.”
Sustainable agriculture policies
PureCircle has created an entire policy dedicated to sustainable agricultural practices. This policy is built around three main pillars designed to: reduce its environmental footprint, source responsibly and deliver transparency and accountability.
As part of its commitment to providing a stable source of income for its family of stevia farmers, growing crops in an ethical, sustainable and environmentally friendly fashion, PureCircle has established the following policies and will complete their roll out by 2015:
- Land rights and conservation of high value conservation areas
- Protection of threatened or endangered species and wild animals
- Water rights and conservation and preservation of water resources
- Waste minimization and management
- Compliance with all labor laws and promote ILO Decent Work Core Labor Standards
- Open and transparent negotiations
- Safe agrochemical use
- Avoid competition with local food security
- Management of crops
- Maintain traceability of stevia leaf
Today with the assistance of PureCircle, smallholding stevia farmers, like Esther Chepkwony in Kericho, Kenya, and Francisca Vera in Guayaibi, Paraguay, are providing steady incomes for their families. Stevia farming under the sustainable policies implemented by PureCircle supplies more income and creates a stable lifestyle for farming families. “While our business is supplying the highest quality stevia to food and beverage manufacturers for use as an ingredient, it is equally important for us to deliver it through our supply chain in an ethical and responsible manner,” said Chandran.