Seed maker signs stevia deal

LONGMONT — S&W Seed Co. (Nasdaq: SANW) will develop stevia plants for Ingredion Inc. (NYSE: INGR).

S&W produces alfalfa, sorghum, hybrid sunflower, wheat and pasture seeds and has begun to develop and produce seeds for stevia, a plant-based sweetener. Ingredion is a nutrients maker in Westchester, Illinois.

The global stevia market is projected to double to $1.6 billion in the next six years and most stevia is now produced outside of the U.S., a press release said.

S&W CEO Mark Wong said the company “has developed unique, non-GMO, all-natural stevia varieties” at lower production costs. S&W traded recently up 5% to an $89 million market cap.

Ingredion chief innovation officer Jeremy Xu said the deal will help increase “our supply of sustainably sourced stevia in the U.S.” The company has a $5.8 billion market cap.

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