Global food ingredients and solutions provider Tate & Lyle has signed an agreement to acquire a 15% stake in stevia ingredient company Sweet Green Fields.

The financial details of the deal have not been revealed by either company.

Tate & Lyle chief executive Nick Hampton said: “We are delighted to build an even closer partnership with Sweet Green Fields.

"We look forward to working together with the Sweet Green Fields team to deliver truly breakthrough, great-tasting stevia products for our customers."

“Their industry-leading portfolio of stevia-based ingredients is highly complementary to our portfolio of proprietary sugar reduction solutions, and the results from the first year of our global distribution partnership have been very encouraging.

“We look forward to working together with the Sweet Green Fields team to deliver truly breakthrough, great-tasting stevia products for our customers.”

The latest development builds on an agreement previously signed by the two companies in April last year, which saw Tate & Lyle become the exclusive global distributor of Sweet Green Fields’ portfolio of stevia-based ingredients.

Sweet Green Fields chairman Jingang Shi said: “Sweet Green Fields continues to grow its business strongly, driven by our leading portfolio of stevia-based ingredients and solutions.

“We are delighted to have the opportunity to strengthen our relationship with Tate & Lyle and take our business to the next level of success.”

Sweet Green Fields was originally established in 2007 and is engaged in the production of standard stevia extracts for the food and beverage industry.

The company currently offers a wide range of stevia extracts containing Reb D such as Dual and Omega, which have been specifically designed to address particular customer preferences.