STEVIA AB AGROCHAIN
Stevia rebaudiana, grown for its steviol glycoside loaded leaves, is a plant that is currently establishing itself worldwide as the main provider of natural sweeteners. Stevia produces a natural sweetener compatible even with both diabetic and low-sugar diets. It also has further digestive, diuretic, antioxidant and cosmetic properties that are of particular interest to the agri-food and the para-pharmaceutical industries among others.
China has been the market’s leading supplier, with over 80% of the world production – sold mainly to leading industrial partners such as Tereos and PureCircle.
There is, however, another way forward with the emergence of a French sector that stands out from the pack on the world market:
– by being fully local, sustainable and traceable from plant material production to transformation and packaging, with strong regional roots, and offering an opportunity to repurpose specific farms
– by setting itself apart through its production methods and aiming for organic farming.
Our entry in this competition is based on the collective approach laid out to build this sector. Our goal is to allow for the development of a local organic stevia sector by:
– giving producers control over upstream activities
– using scientific resources as a base to find plant material able to measure up with the project’s ambitions (optimising steviol glycoside production under local pedoclimatic conditions and allowing for tolerances and resistances for organic farming)
– overcoming the obstacles inherent to the cultivation of new species: soil preparation, density, fertilising, watering, harvesting, drying.
– making the most of the production
To address this challenge, we set up a collective with representative for the entire agrochain:
– INRA (Fruit Biology & Diseases RU and Vineyard Health & Agro-ecology RU): supporting the selection of plant material fitting pedoclimatic conditions in Aquitaine and organic production methods;
– University of Bordeaux, MIB-GESVAB: characterising, quantifying and qualifying molecules from biosources;
– Invenio: producing stock plants from in-vitro fertilisation, setting up the crop production itinerary, carrying out variety testing;
– Sweetvia: organisation of producers, project steering and Stevia production;
– Rouage: organic extraction and purification processes;
– Oviatis: final product marketing.
Based on this approach, we started selling a range of stevia-based products back in 2016. Our business is bound to really take off from 2018 onwards with the development of our new Oviatis industrial facility.
We are groundbreaking on many levels:
– this is the only 100% organic and 100% French stevia producing sector
– all our stakeholders are based in our region and have the required know-how to make the project happen. Everyone is involved, to varying degrees, in the whole agrochain process, and have a better understanding of the impact of each cog’s decision on the following cogs.
– all the key aspects of this sector drive innovation: selecting plant material, technical itinerary, harvesting and drying, extraction using an organic farming process, marketing, crowdfunding.
Company name: Invenio
Address: Domaine de la Grande Ferrade CS 20032 71 Avenue Edouard Bourlaux
33882 VILLENAVE D'ORNON Cedex
Tel : 05 57 12 25 50
Website : http://www.invenio-fl.fr