PureCircle, Chicago, a producer and marketer of high purity stevia products, announced the latest developments in its sustainability initiatives in partnership with Amigos de las Américas (AMIGOS). AMIGOS is an international non-profit organization dedicated to building young leaders through collaborative community development and immersion experiences in Latin America. The success of the latest year’s program follows the recent release of PureCircle’s 2011 Sustainability Commitment, highlighting the company’s global environmental and social responsibility activities.

Building on 2010 projects, PureCircle and AMIGOS just completed community development initiatives in the farming communities of San Pedro, Paraguay. This year, the projects focused on the communities’ schools, where local youth and volunteers built playgrounds and restored school yards, providing safe environments for children to play. Volunteers also engaged over 6,500 children and youth in nutrition education activities, provided fuel-efficient stoves to families, and promoted environmental awareness through educational day camps, which included planting over 2,500 trees.

“We are very proud of the accomplishments of our partnership with AMIGOS in Paraguay,” said Jason Hecker, Vice President Global Marketing and Innovation for PureCircle. “Contributing to healthy lifestyles and strengthening communities is core to our sustainability strategy. Investing in and positively impacting farming communities strengthens our partnerships with local farmers, which is fundamental to our business.”

PureCircle is built on a foundation of social and environmental responsibility, and the company’s new Sustainability Commitment details this approach. PureCircle operates along “Pillars of Sustainability,” including promoting healthy choices, sourcing responsibly, and managing an integrated supply chain with reduced environmental impacts. In Paraguayan farming communities like San Pedro, PureCircle aids local farmers with micro-financing, high quality seedlings and agricultural support to help farmers maximize the benefits of cultivating and harvesting stevia. The company’s investment in these farming communities – building two major plant nurseries and actively supporting farmers –allows farmers to invest in growing stevia, which in turn, helps PureCircle remain a leading producer of consistent, high quality stevia. PureCircle sources stevia through an integrated farming model with over 60,000 farmer partners across four continents.

PureCircle commits to sustainability through a total supply chain approach, beginning with conventionally bred stevia seedlings through to extraction and purification processes that conserve energy and water. For further detail, view PureCircle’s 2011 Sustainability Commitment.