Hemp Awareness week next week
Hemp Awareness week next week 19-25th September 2016
The NZHIA are focused on raising the public’s awareness of the legitimate, regulated industry which is set to massively benefit rural and regional New Zealand.
Industrial hemp can provide, seed and fibre for all mediums of industry, from soap to 3D printing; the naturally grown plant could radically change local business. We have business owners right now making a difference to their bottom line and the economy. And this is set to take off in the future.
Richard Barge from the NZHIA who is part of a road show for hemp awareness week, which starts next week says "we are promoting all the markets for iHemp the seed, stems, roots and leaves."
The exciting news for the industry is the potential of iHemp foods for human consumption. Hemp seed is a super food and Australia and New Zealand are the only countries in the world where they are banned for human consumption, we can sell iHemp as animal foods and in New Zealand. The only exception is hempseed oil which is available in New Zealand (as we had a tradition of use of the oil, but it is not available in Australia).
FSANZ (Food Safety Australia New Zealand) have proposed P1042 “Low THC hemp seed Foods” which should get voted on by the 10 Food Ministers in November 2016 (we get one vote). After 18 years of consultation and two previous industry applications, we hope they will finally vote based on fact and evidence and say yes to hemp seed foods.
Giving a green light for the seed industry to scale up and sustainably supply the growing global demand for hemp seed superfoods with high protein content and great essential fatty acids profiles.
The stems can be decorticated (spilt) to supply fibre and hurd. The hurd can be mixed with lime and made in to construction materials, houses have been built in New Plymouth and a certified building process is being developed in the Hawkes Bay.
The iHemp fibre is being trialed in the manufacture of carpet and knitted into socks, currently this fibre and hurd has to be imported but could be supplied from locally grown iHemp in the future.
Researchers and Universities are investigating bio plastics and composite materials made from the hurd and fibre, the special qualities of hemp as natures strongest fibre are useful in the production of these materials.
Cutting edge technologies such as 3 d printing are looking for sustainable raw materials and iHemp is set to meet this demand.
The amount of R&D required is mind boggling, due to the variety of possible end uses . 80 years of prohibition have meant that only limited work has been done and many new processing & manufacturing technologies need to be developed to add value to the annual crop, all with significant export potential.
We have seen an increase in the number of farm owners showing an interest in growing hemp to help them diversify. The variety of potential markets for the raw materials make it an attractive cash crop to grow
There also benefits to the environment from growing iHemp in rotation, it doesn't require any agri-chemicals and can be used to phyto-remediate polluted soils, lift heavy metals, utilise high nitrate dairy run off and clean mine spoilt lands.
The manufacture of products and our understanding regarding growing and harvest requirements are all massive areas for R&D of this new arable industry. Which fits nicely with the Governments strategy based on the National Science Challenges, we can help with health, nutrition, our land our water, science and technology and building.