Positive social impact is equally important to us as financial sustainability as this is a necessity to deliver durable impact. The impact of Stevia 1931 is threefold.
a) Consumers and government are keen on natural and calorie free sweeteners. Stevia is regarded as an essential aspect in fighting modern diseases such as diabetes and obesity.
b) Prudential impulses. The project has the potential to create in excess of one thousand jobs. Creating employment in low income countries is an effective tool in combating poverty. The World bank substantiated this view in their report ”Generating Employment in Poor and Fragile States: Evidence from Labour Market and Entrepreneurship Programs.”
c) Stevia has a 72% lower carbon footprint than sugar, and a 90-95% lower water footprint/advantage over sugar.
Ultimately impact ventures are supported by market access and demand. The global demand for stevia is expected to increase from 347 million in 2014 to 565 million USD in 2020. Credit Suisse, Rabobank, FMI along with various other parties have high expectation for the development of the stevia market. Within the sweetener market stevia has the potential to develop itself as a sustainable game changer. Extensive R&D in relation to plant breeding and agronomics, a strong international management team together with local commitment from the community and players form the foundation for success. Large buyers in the F&B industry have expressed their intention to buy our output.
We have evaluated various cultivation models such as out-growers schemes, contract farmers and aggregators. We have chosen for a nucleus farm set-up as this model will result in the greatest overall social impact. By realising an efficient and professional set up allowing us to creating skilled and solid jobs, we can provide a living wage, job security, social security, on the job training, scholarships and contribute toward local infrastructure and overall development. At the same time, having established a firm and professional foundation, we can expand our cultivation activates with local small-scale farmers.
Together with Verbos Concultancy we have drafted a detailed and comprehensive ICSR policy. Exelenti Foundation, the incubator if this Stevia 1931, is a member of IRIS which provides is with the relevant impact metrics. With the right tools, our impact can be measured, compared and evaluated.