LONDON — Tate & Lyle PLC launched a new sustainability program to enable stevia growers in China to lower their environmental impact and gain greater economic benefits from production of the calorie-free sweetener.

Developed with environmental charity Earthwatch Europe and rolled out with support from Nanjing Agricultural University, the program provides farmers in Dongtai, East China, with training aimed at modernizing farming practices and achieving sustainability-related accreditation. Areas of focus include changing usage of synthetic fertilizer and pesticides, replacing materials used for mulching with more sustainable alternatives and developing farming practices to help maintain soil health, keep carbon locked in and improve on-farm composting.