Government invests $1.34m in hemp research

The Ministry for Primary Industries is investing $1.34 million in hemp research and development through its Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures).

Funding recipient New Zealand Natural Fibres (NZFN) is itself putting $2 million into the five-year programme, which will explore flooring, food packaging and activewear among other innovations.

NZFN chief executive Colin McKenzie says it’s pleasing to have government backing.

“Hemp has huge potential to be part of the solution to some of the most crucial environmental challenges facing our planet today,” McKenzie says.

He says the funding will be used to both ramp up innovation and enhance the company’s growing, processing and marketing capability to propel it toward a global leadership position in the industry.

On the innovation side, NZNF will be developing blended wool and hemp fibres for use in soft flooring and outdoor activewear, McKenzie says. Continue reading

Funding of hemp fibre innovation set to propel New Zealand on to world stage

New Government funding will help a New Zealand hemp fibre company explore untapped opportunities – from soft flooring to food packaging that’s more environmentally sustainable.

The Government is contributing $1.34 million through the Ministry for Primary Industries’ Sustainable Food and Fibre Futures fund (SFF Futures) to New Zealand Natural Fibres’ (NZNF) five-year research and development programme project.

NZNF is the only hemp fibre company in New Zealand that controls its own supply chain end-to-end. The company is contributing a further $2 million in cash and in kind to the project.

“We plan to use the SFF Futures funding to develop our hemp growing, processing and marketing capability to ‘go further, faster’ towards taking a global leadership position in the development of industrial and consumer products made from hemp fibre,” says NZNF CEO Colin McKenzie.

“We are very pleased to have received government backing to continue our work with hemp fibre, which has huge potential to be part of the solution to some of the most crucial environmental challenges facing our planet today.

“We’re especially excited about ramping up our work to develop some innovative new products.” Continue reading

Research grant awarded to investigate high-value products made using hemp seed oil by-products

Greenfern Industries, a Taranaki-based medicinal cannabis and industrial hemp venture, is part of a group that will investigate ways to turn hemp seed hulls into high-value products destined for the global export market.

The partnership has been 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 Bioresource Processing Alliance (BPA), which, in turn, is funded by the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment. 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 industrial hemp is currently grown in Central Otago and Taranaki and the company has plans to expand hemp seed farming to double its crops this year. Continue reading