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Stevia: the path to a benefit sharing agreement

In November 2015, a report called The Bitter Sweet Taste of Stevia was released by the Berne Declaration (now Public Eye), CEIDRA, Misereor, Pro Stevia Switzerland, SUNU and the University of Hohenheim. This report showed that the commercialization of Steviaderived sweeteners violates the rights of indigenous peoples and is based on misleading marketing, and that controversial SynBio production is moving ahead.

A new partner, France Libertés, has since joined the coalition and translated the report into French. The Bitter Sweet Taste of Stevia demonstrated that neither the Guarani (Paî Tavyterâ and Kaiowa), who discovered Stevia’s sweetening properties, nor Paraguay or Brazil, the countries of origin of the plant, are receiving a fair and equitable share of the benefits arising from the commercialization of steviol glycosides.

In this follow-up report, the coalition of organizations behind the original report wishes to provide an update on several areas: the resulting communications with companies, the demands of the Guarani, new developments in the legal framework and the path ahead.