iHemp issue #13 Nov 2020 | Page 30

Hemptastic is one of the oldest hemp companies in NZ

My name is Richard Barge and I am a hemp consultant and entrepreneur .

The hemp journey for me , started in 1994 when I read Jack Herer ’ s book - The Emperor Wears No Clothes .
Hemp became my passion and I made up my mind to become significantly involved in the re-emerging hemp industry .
A group of mates and I started Hemptastic in 1997 and I first joined the NZHIA in 1998 , when I meet Mack McIntosh - the God Father of the NZ hemp industry .
After being the Secretary / Treasurer of the NZHIA since 1998 I became the Chair in July 2019 , when Mack retired after 22 + years of service to the industry .
Hemptastic started with a range of clothing - mandarin collar shirts and vests , in a summer weight hemp cloth . But as Hemptastic was a 100 % hemp 100 % NZ made , we quickly priced ourselves out of the market . Not to mention everyone wanted a different size and colour , so we pivoted and went into hats , bags and wallets which were smaller and had less sizes .
Hemp Farm NZ Ltd Founded in 2009, by Dave Jordan, Hemp New Zealand Limited is New Zealand’s most established and largest grower, processor and supplier of hemp products. organic hemp foods processing facility in Tauriko, Tauranga which has the capacity to expand into many consumer product categories. The subsidiary entity, Hemp Farm New Zealand Ltd through which most of its operations are undertaken, was established in 2011 by Dave and his wife Anne together with the HempFarm® brand which has since grown to become a popular and trusted food brand in the New Zealand market. Consistent with its vision to lead the New Zealand hemp industry as a world-class, vertically integrated hemp company, Hemp Farm NZ operates the HempFarm® Growers Group across both the North and South Islands. It is now of such scale that Carrfields Ltd are contracted to administer the program on its behalf. The HempFarm® product portfolio comprises Hemp Seed Oil, Hemp Seed Capsules, Hemp Hearts, Hemp Protein Powder and hemp seed oil-based natural skincare products for adults and babies under the Promise and Little Promises sub-brands. Hemp Seed Oil was the first HempFarm® product launched and, together with Hemp Seed Oil in a capsule form, remains the hero of the range due to customers enjoying its many life-changing benefits including supporting healthy joint mobility. As a result, all products in the HempFarm® brand are now made from 100% New Zealand grown hemp – with the exception of Hemp Protein which will make the transition from imported hemp mid 2021. After amendments to New Zealand regulations allowing the sale of hemp seeds as food in November 2018, Hemp Farm NZ has also been developing its bulk, business-to-business sales. As a result, many major New Zealand food brands are now purchasing and using product from its bulk category as an ingredient and taking their own new and exciting plant-based products to market both domestically and internationally. These include cereals, snack bars, bread, spreads, beverages, salad dressings, confectionary and pasta. To meet this accelerating demand for hemp retail products and bulk ingredients, Hemp Farm NZ has set up a dedicated food grade and Assure Quality certified 30 This now paves the way for Hemp Farm NZ to take its brand and ingredients global as world markets look to well regulated and governed countries like New Zealand as a safe source of quality food products. In 2019, Hemp New Zealand took an equity stake in NZ Yarn Ltd, New Zealand’s largest wool processing company, based in Burnside, Christchurch. Following this initial investment, Hemp New Zealand purchased a hemp-fibre decortication and cleaning line. This specialist equipment is scheduled to be fully commissioned by late 2020 and will initially process hemp straw bales into fibre and hurd form for subsequent manufacture of downstream products by NZ Yarn and other businesses. By expanding its operations from food and cosmetics into fibre, Dave and Anne’s dream of whole plant utilisation is becoming reality, and Hemp Farm NZ, through its parent entity Hemp NZ, is fulfilling its vision of leading the reinstatement of a vibrant global hemp industry. 31