VANCOUVER, British Columbia, Dec. 22, 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, announces the commencement of production of four beverage products by its joint venture partner China and Healthy Foods Company Limited (CAHFC) for the ANOC TM business in China.
The production line was constructed during the third quarter at CAHFC's Xioagang facility and is capable of producing 108 million 500ml servings per year. The new facility will initially produce four beverage products: Green Tea, Black Tea, Peach Juice and Orange Juice. All products are part of the new ANOC TM product line and are sweetened with stevia. The grand opening ceremony for this new line took place on December 17, 2010 with a strong showing of local and provincial Government officials. Most notably, Vice Governor Honorable Mr. Zhao, Shucong and Party Secretary of Chuzhou City Honorable Mr. Han, Xiancong of the Anhui Province attended the ceremony and were present to receive the first bottle of ANOC TM beverage from the new production line. One of the key government objectives is to demonstrate that a rural farming region such as Xioagang can not only support strong farming economy but also industrial development that will further increase the economic prosperity for a rural region. Xioagang is demonstrating this through stevia farming and the use of stevia extracts in consumer products also produced in the Xioagang region. The Xioagang example is expected to be a model for other China rural areas to follow.
GLG Chairman and CEO Dr. Luke Zhang stated, "The grand opening of this new facility marks an important milestone for the ANOC joint venture. We can now develop the inventory necessary for our first ANOC TM beverage product launch in 2011. GLG and CAHFC control every step now from seed to shelf for consumer products including quality control and product formulation. We are proud of our partner's achievement and we can now focus on the rollout of our first four beverage products in the first quarter of 2011. GLG also recognizes CAHFC's achievement towards the development of value added industry in the Xioagang region to the stevia crop grown in Xioagang."Mr. Song Xiankun, Chairman and President of CAHFC said, "We are extremely pleased with the commencement of beverage production at our Xioagang facility. This is the first all natural and zero calorie beverage production line in China and this line can produce a full range of ANOC TM beverages including iced tea, juice, vitamin water, sports water and dairy drinks. We have developed over 30 different ANOC TM beverage formulas and all have received great responses in our market research. With this first ANOC TMbeverage line starting production, the joint venture will be able to launch ANOC TMiced tea and juice soon and become the first company to market all natural and zero calorie beverages in China. We have had strong support from the local and provincial government to ensure a timely development of this facility. We recognize that we are also supporting the development of the Xioagang region by bringing value-added manufacturing and jobs to this region which demonstrates that when industry and government work together in rural agricultural areas, we can bring more prosperity to industry and the people of Xioagang." China's food and beverage industry has experienced a more than 20% annual growth rate from 2002 to 2009 with the industry growing from approximately RMB900 billion to RMB4.7 trillion (US$ 693 billion) in 2009. As China's middle class continues to develop, this is expected to fuel consumption growth in the China beverage and food industry. The Freedonia Group estimates that the China beverage market will grow from 105,750 million liters in 2007 to 199,500 million liters in 2017.