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Hemp Seeds Sown

DATE: 30th November 2012

Hemp Seeds Sown

Midlands Seed Ltd has recently completed the planting of this seasons hemp crops, which they grow under contract with farmer suppliers in the South Island. It’s an exciting time for the Ashburton based company and its subsidiary company Oil Seed Extractions Limited (OSE) who Cold Press the resultant seed to produce Hemp seed oil. FSANZ have recommended an amendment to food regulation laws allowing the sale of hemp foods in New Zealand and Australia, which if approved should mean more hemp crops grown in New Zealand in the future.

Hemp is an annual plant, with a 120 day growth cycle. Hemp crops are grown for fibre or alternatively for seed, which can be processed to oil and other nutritious foods. Whilst Hemp has a reputation as an easy plant to grow with a host of benefits, Hemp seed production brings with it numerous challenges. However the well established world leading agricultural infrastructure on New Zealand’s Canterbury plans, from planting all the way through to harvest, drying and seed cleaning ensures a high quality product is harvested. Furthermore both Midlands and OSE operate a HACCP certified Food Safety programme that is independently audited, which further ensures a high quality hemp seed oil is produced as a final finished product.

All hemp crops are produced on forward contract with local farmer suppliers, and all crops produced are licensed with the Ministry of Health. Both Midlands and OSE are pioneers of the Industrial Hemp industry in New Zealand, and were amongst the first companies to be issued licences for the production of hemp in the 2001/2002 growing season. The list of related pioneering hemp milestones is extensive, and includes being the first to grow and process hemp seed to oil for retail sale in New Zealand under this very first licence over a decade ago, as well as the first to produce hemp seed protein in this country earlier this year.

OSE is a bulk wholesaler of its range of specialty seed oils and related oilseed products, and also supplies this hemp seed oil wholesale in bulk quantities. In addition OSE also has its own finished product brand new hemisphere, which is a clever twist of the words "hemp is here". For further detail please visit the following link

While products such as hemp seed oil, hemp seed flour, hemp seed protein and hulled hemp seed can be found in retail stores in other developed countries such as Canada, USA, United Kingdom and throughout Europe, currently the sale of these hemp foods for human consumption in New Zealand is prohibited, with the exception of hemp seed oil. Due to these regulations hemp protein currently produced by OSE is destined for export. For more information about the current hemp food laws in New Zealand please visit the following link

The laws related to hemp foods are however currently under review, with the political council that will decide the future fate of hemp foods due to cast their vote on the 7th December.

And there is no shortage of reasons (listed below) for the forum to accept the FSANZ recommendation, relating to what's good for you, what's good for New Zealand, and what's good for the global environment.

• Currently it is only possible to sell hemp seed oil in New Zealand, which represents only 20% of the seed value, with the balance (meal) being sold as an animal feed. The ability to sell 100% of the seed value, will increase the value of hemp seed produced in New Zealand, with a subsequent increase in farm gate returns.

• Global demand for hemp foods is increasing, and a more competitive cost structure as a result of the ability to sell 100% of the seed value will, in addition to domestic sales, allow the further development of export markets for hemp seed oil and hemp foods produced in New Zealand.

• The proposed amendment to the hemp food laws will result in an increase in recognition for hemp seed oil, which is one of the richest sources of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA), and a sustainable alternative to fish oil.

• Hemp seed protein is a GMO/GE free alternative to other sources of protein such as Soy and Whey. The unique amino acid profile of hemp protein has seen it touted as a superfood, and it has become popular and sort after as a dietary supplement worldwide.

• Likewise hulled hemp seed is also a nutritional super food, offering a source of digestible protein (10 essential amino acids), Carbohydrates, dietary fibre as well as a variety of vitamins and minerals. Furthermore its oil component is an excellent source of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA), as mentioned above.

• Hemp seed flour and hemp seed bran, offer a nutritionally dense alternative to other common flours, with high levels of dietary fibre both soluble and insoluble, and the added benefits of its amino acid and essential fatty acid component.

• Hemp seed foods produced with the Midlands-OSE business model offer a sustainable crop production option with low food miles, grown and processed within a 100 kilometre radius(from paddock to processing facility)
• Hemp seed foods produced within the Midlands-OSE business model are gluten free, nut free, low in carbohydrates and GI, suitable for vegetarians and vegans, and are produced in a GMO/GE free production process.

• Clearly the New Zealand Consumers health and wellness will benefit with these hemp food products becoming available in the marketplace.
• Numerous downstream benefits for employment and additional industry will result from this amendment to the hemp food laws. Due to the existing infrastructure for seed production and food processing in New Zealand, and our temperate climate and ideal soils, New Zealand is well positioned to capture the added value and economic benefits that this opportunity presents.

• Furthermore, in other production regions such as Canada, a complimentary hemp fibre industry has been developed alongside the hemp food industry, which has created further employment opportunities and economic benefits. It is reasonable to expect that the same should occur in New Zealand and/or Australia if the proposed hemp food law amendment is approved.

If the "Legislative and Governance Forum on Food Regulation" does vote in favour, we could see hemp foods on the shelves in New Zealand (and Australia) late in 2012 or early in 2013. Here’s hoping that “Hemp is here”!

Background Notes; Midlands Seed Ltd

Midlands Seed Ltd was established in 1990 as a privately owned company, and the foundation share holders remain actively involved in the business. This innovative business is now established as one of the leading grain and seed companies in New Zealand, and is well regarded globally for servicing counter season productions. Midlands have lead the development of the vegetable seed industry in Canterbury and now produce and export large volumes of brassica to the Asian vegetable seed trade and hybrid carrot, beet and radish to the European seed industry.

Midlands Seed Ltd are producers and marketers of:
Vegetable Seed: with an emphasis on high value hybrids which are produced for leading international seed companies.
Forage: notably temperate climate grass and clover species for international markets.
Grain: produced for the domestic feed and flour trade.
Pulses: notably marrowfats peas produced for export to the Asian snack food trade.
Oil Seeds: consisting predominantly of borage, linseed and hemp which are produced both for export, and for subsidiary company Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE).
Garden Peas: where Midlands have their own in-house research programme, culminating in the production of popular varieties for export.

In addition to traditional seed re-multiplication Midlands also produce an extensive range of Arable Food products for human consumption. Examples include Whole and Split Peas, Pea Flour, Lentils and Buckwheat. Furthermore the company is also involved in Organic Seed production.
Further information about Midlands Seed Limited is available at

Background Notes; Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE)
Oil Seed Extractions Ltd (OSE) produce and supply natural nutritional oils and food ingredients rich in essential fatty acids such as alpha-linolenic acid (ALA or Omega 3) and gamma-linolenic acid (GLA or Omega 6). All products are developed with the intent to benefit and promote health and well-being in today's lifestyles.
Our product range comprises of an extensive list of oils and oilseed products, with a focus on bulk nutritional oils. A wide range of cold pressed oils are produced from our purpose-built premises in Ashburton.
The focus is on quality, and locally produced seed creates some of the world’s best seed oils. In addition to our oils we also produce EFA rich oil powders, specialty concentrates, seed extracts, flours, & associated functional food ingredients.
OSE is dedicated to providing healthy and nutritious products from natural sources to our customers. We closely integrate contract growing, product development, oil processing and distribution to ensure that the highest product quality and service are always delivered efficiently to our customers.
Further information about OSE is available at

Background Notes; New Hemisphere

new hemisphere™ is based in Canterbury where all our products are locally grown and manufactured. new hemisphere™ Hemp Seed Oil is an extra virgin, cold-pressed oil extracted locally from THC Free Hemp Seed grown without the use of agri-chemicals, and is produced in a GMO/GE free production process. This unique oil is a sustainable alternative to fish oil, and is one of natures richest sources of the Essential Fatty Acids (EFA’s) Linoleic Acid (Omega 6, LA) and Alpha Linolenic Acid (Omega 3, ALA) as well as smaller amounts of Gamma Linolenic Acid (GLA), and Stearidonic Acid (SDA). These EFAs include Omega 6 & Omega 3 in a naturally occurring 3:1 ratio, which is considered an essential part of a balanced diet.
To find out more about the amazing nutritional properties of hemp seed oil including Omega 3, 6, and GLA, and how it can easily be incorporated into your diet, simply visit the recipes page on our website

Available from all good Pharmacies, Fitness Centres, Delis, Specialty Stores and Health Food Stores Nationwide. For a stockist near you please visit the new hemisphere™ website or call our customer hotline 0800 HEMPOIL (436 764)

Further information about new hemisphere™ is available at

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