Expect to see hemp in more food products in the coming year.
A Tauranga base company Hempfarm is planning to cash in on the trend and create jobs.
Just to clarify you will not be getting high on hemp products.
It’s a different variety of marijuana that does not have the THC content associated with the smoking variety of the plant.
“Hemp is huge right now and growing rapidly as New Zealand moves forward with food law changes,” says Anne Jordan one of the owners of Hempfarm.
“Bread, snacks, cheese, chocolate and yoghurt are some of the products using hemp,” says Anne.
“Many of the top chefs are getting into the use of hemp oil and seeds, so expect it to pop up in restaurant menus.
“We have planted 500 hectares of hemp around New Zealand that will be ready for harvest early March.
“That will be done with our new state of the art harvest machine, the first of its kind in New Zealand.
“Next season we are targeting a harvest of two to three thousand hectares.”
“Currently we have hemp farms in Waikato, Hawkes Bay, Wairarapa, Canterbury and Manawatu.”
Hempfarm is in the process of setting up its multi-million dollar processing plant in a 4000 square facility in Tauranga’s business estate at Tauriko.
Two of the products they will be processing is hemp milk and butter.
“Hemp Milk is non-allergenic, it means people allergic to dairy or nuts can also have it,” says Anne.
Dave Jordan, the other owner of the company says they are the first company in the country dedicated to utilising the whole plant.
“Bark of the product is used in the construction industry, hemp seed and oil are sold in bulk to manufacturers in the food industry, it’s used in beauty products, hemp protein powder is sold to gyms, the product has many uses,” says Dave.
“We also import hemp seed and oil from Canada”
Hempfarm is also set to become a large employer.
Dave says they have 17 employees at the moment, but when the processing plant becomes fully operational and they expand their hemp farms, they’ll need to employ over a 100 people.