Thursday, 28 January 2021 13:25

MBIE funds hemp research

Written by  Staff Reporters
MBIE will provide funding to a project researching hemp and its qualities. MBIE will provide funding to a project researching hemp and its qualities.

A Taranaki-based medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp venture is part of a group that will investigate ways to turn hemp seed hulls into products for the global market.

Greenfern Industries is part of a partnership that was awarded $145,000 in cash and in-kind funding for research into products created from the by-products of hemp seed oil processing.

Greenfern will work alongside industry partners Callaghan Innovation and Hemp Connect as part of the project funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) Bioresource Processing Alliance (BPA).

BPA invests in research and development projects with the aim of generating additional export revenue for New Zealand by working with the primary sector to get better value out of biological by-products.

Greenfern’s hemp is grown in Central Otago and Taranaki and the company has plans to expand hemp seed farming to double its crops this year.

The company has already teamed up with Sustainable Foods and the Riddet Institute research centre in a project to turn hemp seeds into food products such as plant-based meat substitutes and cosmetic products.

“We have plans underway for rapid expansion, so we’re keen to find added value opportunities for the by-products of hemp seed processing,” says Greenfern managing director Dan Casey.

Previously, whole hemp seeds were cold pressed for hemp seed oil and hemp seed cake remained as the by-product with a high fibre content but without a pleasant taste.

Now, Greenfern and its partners will see how they can use the entire hemp seed.

The project will look at ways to convert a significant volume of hemp hulls and other parts of the seed into higher value products such as oil, protein peptide supplements, and water-soluble hemp protein for beverages.

“As well as creating new products for export, there is an opportunity to work on new or improved ways of processed, improving yields, and reducing waste. Given our commitment to sustainability, we’re naturally really excited to be part of this research and development project,” Casey says.

As part of the project, Greenfern Industries and Hemp Connect will provide the hemp seed, staffing, and marketing experience and will explore new market opportunities and sales channels in New Zealand and Australia.

More like this

Foundations for a fine new fibre

A group of South Island farmers say they are about to expand their range after the successful launch of an apparel business based on blending hemp fibre with merino wool.

Is space-based internet the answer for rural NZ?

It's clear the internet has become a fundamental service for New Zealanders, with a Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) paper on connectivity finding a "clear upwards demand" for internet services in NZ - rising by around 40% each year.

Who?

OPINION: This old mutt understands a farmer had an 'interesting' experience when recently chosen by MBIE for a 'site visit' to audit their employment records.

National

Machinery & Products

New disc cultivator launched

Väderstad has introduced a new disc cultivator – the Carrier XT 425-625 – featuring rotating disc axles, that optimizes results…

JD unlocks its digital system

As a long-term advocate of digital technology, John Deere has taken the route of mass data capture, rather than concentrating…

Flexible front hopper

Suitable for applying all types of seeds and fertiliser, Kverneland’s f-drill front hopper can also be paired with a range…

» The RNG Weather Report

» Latest Print Issues Online

The Hound

Fruitful change?

OPINION: Your canine crusader notes that meat company Silver Fern Farms has undergone quite a refresh over the last few…

All for show?

OPINION: The Hound notes that Fonterra is cashing in on the curent government's largesse with taxpayer money.

» Connect with Rural News

» eNewsletter

Subscribe to our weekly newsletter