Hemp products have become increasingly popular over the years and now Bay of Plenty residents have access to the superfood as it’s harvested in their own backyard.
New Zealand company HempFarm have based their new food processing facility in Tauriko.
HempFarm director Anne Jordan says the company moved to their new Tauranga based facility on January 7, and they couldn’t be happier with the business’ progress.
“Before we were here we ran the business from our house in Hamilton, doing it from the garage up until midnight, packing all of the parcels, on the phone all day, ringing stores, talking about hemp. It drove our family completely crazy.”
HempFarm office manager Jess Jordan says the sales of hemp have increased due to people’s awareness of the plant.
“Last year our sales went up around 400 per cent within a year, we have 460 stockists now and we have around 6000 retail customers.
“Everyone’s now more educated about their health and wellbeing. I found when I did an expo last year people don’t want to know anything, they just want to buy it. It’s now an everyday product.”
Anne says a big factor in her and her husband’s decision to get into the hemp industry is due to the environmental benefit.
“My husband first wanted to grow hemp to clean up the environment, because of the condition of the waterways, the pollution in the waterways, the run offs on farms and all of that.
“It cleans up the soils and takes the carbon out of the atmosphere, it’s a superfood.”
Anne says hemp is a whole food and it has great nutritional benefits.
“Hemp products contain all of the essential acids, and an optimal balance of omega fatty acids.
“It’s the world’s most nutrient dense seed.
“Hemp products help reduce arthritis pain, improve eczema, psoriasis, people have had blood pressure goes down, it balances hormones, good for your metabolism, boosts your immune system, the list goes on.”
While the HempFarm factory is being finished, Anne says they have been importing hemp products from Canada.
“There was no processing plant here, so we had to. We’ve been bringing in certified organic products to enable us to build an industry here and raise awareness.
“We always talk about our Canadian products with pride as they are organic, they are big mentors to us.”
Now that HempFarm have their own facility, they are entering the harvesting stage where they will begin producing their own products.
“We expect to have 400 tonne of seed coming off the crops, and 300 tonne will go to food processing. The rest will be used for resewing,” says Anne.
The Tauriko facility produces many different products, ranging from foods, to skincare and to cloths.
“You start with the de-shelled seed, which we will be making here with a de-huller, and the seeds are a whole food. They are really delicious, I put them on my porridge and muesli, and it goes nicely with fish and in a pesto. It has a pine nut taste to it.
“We have hemp oil, which is cold pressed from the seed. We also have hemp oil capsules, lots of people feel taking a tablet is the way to go for them, just like people take fish oils, but environmentally it’s a lot better for you then taking fish.
“The capsules contain omega three, six and nine fatty acids from a plant without any sprays, growing organically.”
Another product Anne says is beneficial is the protein powder, which contains 50 per cent protein per serving, allowing muscles to recover after exercise with the magnesium in the product.
HempFarm have created a skincare range, including a healing balm which is known as ‘an ambulance in a jar’, as well as a face serum and cleaner.
Hemp cloths and reusable bags have also been produced, ensuring none of the product goes to waste.
Anne says the facility should be up and running in under six months’ time, where they will be de-hulling seeds, pressing seeds into oil and distributing their products from the Tauriko facility.
HempFarm are hosting an event in Tauriko to celebrate opening of the facility.
“It will be nice for people to know in the Bay of Plenty to know that we are here and what we are up to, because it is a big deal,” says Jess.
The HempFarm opening event is in late April. If members of the public wish to attend, contact Jess at firstname.lastname@example.org