Looking back at the year in stevia 2015
2015 was a fun year with lots of activity for us at The Real Stevia Company. Perhaps a bit too much to do as we now reached a year since our last blog post! We’re sorry for the delay and aim to pick this up again and we begin so right now with a short re-cap of our previous year.
Taxes on sugar has been a hot topic in 2015, with Mexico putting a 10% tax on all sugar-sweetened drinks and San Francisco and the UK following closely behind with proposed laws and debates. Already in June, lawmakers in San Francisco voted unanimously to put warning labels on all advertisements for sugary beverages in the city. The law is currently awaiting an approval or veto from the Mayor before going into effect.With the benefit of hindsight, we can report that the sugar tax in Mexico has already cut soda sales by 12%.
2015 was a good year for stevia as the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) approved the use of stevia-derived sweeteners at up to 29 mg per liter in hot drinks. After a request from Tata Global Beverages, EFSA investigated the limit of stevia and found increasing it would have a minimal effect even among high level consumers.
Conversely sugar had a bit of a rough year as consumer opinion continues to trend in a negative way. Most recently in a study we commissioned by the Novus institute we found that six out of ten Swedes actively want to cut their sugar intake. Leading the charge in Europe is chef Jamie Oliver who has been campaigning the sugar tax on soft drinks in the UK as well as having raised his price on all non-alcoholic soft drinks with added sugar.
In the late summer we visited the operations in Paraguay and had the opportunity to capture material for two new videos about stevia and the sustainable work we do with stevia. There is also an interview with the Minister of Agriculture in Paraguay who outlines his vision for future organically grown stevia. We also talked with several of our smallholder farmers who talks about the help Fundacion Granular gives them.
Sustainably Sourced Stevia
Climate Smart Agriculture for Stevia in Paraguay
Of course this is just a few of the highlights, as those of you who follow us on out other social media channels can attest to. Hope you’ll continue to join us for 2016 as we think this year is going to be even more exciting for us in the sustainable stevia business!