In New Zealand, hemp may be a fledgling industry but, based on its ability to improve both the environment and the economy, it’s an industry packed with potential!
As companies like Pure Heart Aotearoa (PHA) invest in science, processes and IP, that potential is quickly being realised and superior hemp food and beverages are bursting into the commercial market.
With the international desire for plant-based milk alternatives worth a massive $15 billion globally, the Dannevirke-based iwi is set to launch a ready-to-drink hemp milk that it will push quickly into the rapidly-growing Asia Pacific market.
With their own hemp oil already doing big things, the Ngāti Kahungunu ki Tāmaki nui-a-Rua iwi turned their sights to hemp milk and started working with FoodPilot. They had established a relationship with a Chinese company which will eventually allow them to build a state-of-the-art processing facility in the Tararua region, injecting much-needed jobs into the area.
“The R&D process is expensive, but it’s an essential investment and working with FoodPilot gave us the level of expertise we needed to achieve the results we wanted,” Marketing Manager Adam Webster explains.
“NZFIN are also so connected with every part of the food industry, that everything could be accessed through them. They are all so professional and we never had to worry about protecting our intellectual property,” Adam adds.
The next step for PHA was to begin commercial runs: The FoodBowl facility was booked, allowing the company to get established and prove their product in market before investing in their own processing plant.
Adam says the process of working with NZFIN has given them continuity throughout all stages of the process. “From heading into FoodPilot to be introduced to the science and technology and being able to be hands on with them, through to the final testing and then scale-up at The FoodBowl, we now feel better placed to make the large investment into our own production facility.