Canadian firm Hempco says it will open a 56,000-sq-ft facility to process whole crop hemp for the food, fiber and nutraceutical markets.
Hempco, Burnaby, British Columbia, sells bulk hempseed and produces hemp-based foods under the brand name PlanetHemp. In a release, the publicly traded firm said the plant will have capacity to:
- Turn out 5,000 ton/yr of hemp seed at a value of up to CAD$90 million at current world prices.
- Produce 20,000 ton/yr of hemp fiber stock at CAD$8m in value.
- Deliver 2,000 ton /yr in leaf and flower chaff at sales value up to CAD$2 billion at going rates.
Canadian hemp players, who’ve primarily grown for hemp seed, are pushing a ‘whole crop utilization’ scheme to exploit the plant for a wider range of products across the seed, fibre and health sectors.
The expansion at Hempco comes as Canadian hemp companies have found a strong market in South Korea where Hempco said it has reached a $9 million contract to supply hemp seed to a Korean distributor. Earlier this year the company also launched a CBD and hemp seed 0il product in the UK under its PlanetHemp brand.
But global competition has toughened because of less expensive offerings from China and Eastern Europe, so Canadian firms say it’s critical that the domestic market be opened up. To that end Canadian hemp processors have kept up the fight for a fully free hemp industry regulated by agriculture officials instead of under health officials. Health Canada prohibits the harvesting of flowers and leaves – a situation that industry leaders are addressing primarily through the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance.