VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Oct. 6, 2010 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- GLG Life Tech Corporation (Nasdaq:GLGL) (TSX:GLG) ("GLG" or the "Company"), the vertically-integrated leader in the agricultural and commercial development of high quality stevia, is pleased to announce its joint venture with Global Agrisystem Private Limited ("Global Agri") for the marketing, development and distribution of GLG's portfolio of stevia extracts in markets throughout India and the Middle East.
India is a global leader in the consumption of sugar. Fueled by growing population and continued economic growth, consumption is forecasted to increase to 24.5 million tons for the period 2010/11 on expected improvement in domestic supplies and strong demand. Stevia's viability as a zero calorie sweetener which can be blended with sugar to reach caloric and sugar reduction targets in food and beverage formulations is viewed by the parties as a prime market opportunity for the market in India. In addition, varying annual production outputs for sugar in India as well as increasing rates of obesity that have triggered social and governmental concern have created a compelling market proposition for the introduction of stevia as an alternative sweetener.
Global Agri, a Katra Group company, is among India's largest agribusiness companies focused on the food and agricultural sectors. Global Agri's strengths include market development, new product introductions, food processing, distribution and agribusiness management. The Market Development Agreement signed between the two parties focuses on the utilization of the knowledge, expertise and resources of each party in order to develop the market for stevia in India. This includes obtaining governmental approvals, introduction of certain products to this market, development of new consumer products, government support, agriculture and the future development of manufacturing and processing capacity of stevia for domestic use and possible export.The two parties have also signed an exclusive distribution agreement for the development of the Middle East market for GLG's stevia extract products where the Katra Group also has extensive experience in the sale and distribution of products. As the market within India is developed, the Middle East and Indian activities will be combined to be served by an Indian joint venture.