Resources > News > 2009

Hemp Industry Active

October 9, 2009

By: Portage la Prairie News Centre
Posted: 08/09/2009

The new executive director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance says the hemp industry is full of opportunities.

Kim Shukla says production is increasing with hemp products now on the shelves of mainstream stores like Sobey’s.

She notes producers are slowly trying to grow the industry, to avoid flooding the market when demand is still relatively small.

She says since hemp is still new to most farmers, there is still much room for improvement when it comes to production techniques.

Shukla, who lives in the Steinbach area, took on the position of executive director earlier this summer.

 

Consumers are embracing omega–3, omega–6 and omega–9 for longer, healthier lives.

October 7, 2009

By: Diane Toops, News & Trends Editor
Posted: 08/07/2009

As obesity has become epidemic in the U.S., fats have been stigmatized and wars waged against them by health experts, doctors and the press. But the truth is that consuming adequate and balanced amounts of the right fats – omega–3, omega–6 and omega–9 fatty acids – is critical to good health.

Fatty acids can seem like alphabet soup to consumers: ALA, EPA, DHA, LA, GLA, ARA, MUFAs, PUFAs, EFAs, and the list goes on. Adding to the confusion is the negative impacts of trans–fatty acids and saturated fatty acids. All families have good and bad members; fats are no different.

Fats are a group of chemical compounds that contain fatty acids. Energy is stored in the body mostly in the form of fat, which is needed in the diet to supply essential fatty acids, substances essential for growth but not produced by the body itself.

Understanding the role of omega–3 fatty acids in health begins with understanding their chemical make–up. Omega–3s are long–chain polyunsaturated fatty acids (LC–PUFAs) consisting of alpha–linolenic acid (ALA), eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA) and docasahexaenoic acid (DHA).

All three omega–3 acids need to be obtained from our diet and are called essential fatty acids. ALA cannot be made by our body, so it has to be obtained from food. While humans can synthesize some EPA and DHA from ALA, less than 10 percent is converted at a time. So we must fulfill our DHA and EPA needs from diet or supplemental fish oils, plant oils and algae. It is believed that ancient people were better able to make these conversions, and scientists speculate modern day stress and consumption of trans fat are the culprits.

Omega–3s are best known for their heart–health benefits. ALA is added to grain–based foods through flaxseed or flaxseed oil, which can replace some or all of the oil or shortening in the formulation of foods and beverages. Flaxseed oil also can be added to poultry feed resulting in omega–3–enriched chicken or turkey meat. Other sources of ALA are chia, hempseeds, pumpkin seeds, walnuts, Brazil nuts, sesame seeds, mustard seed, avocados, dark leafy vegetables, soybean oil, wheat germ oil and fatty fish. Other options include cranberry seed oil and juice made from acai berries and goji berries.

Also essential but plentiful in the American diet are omega–6 fatty acids, comprised of linolenic acid (LA), gamma–linolenic acid (GLA) and arachidonic acid (ARA). They support skin health, lower cholesterol and help blood clot. Americans get most of their omegas from eggs, meat, poultry and vegetable oils.

A balance of PUFAs, both omega–3 and omega–6, is essential for good health, and can reduce blood cholesterol levels and the risk for heart disease. As recently as the early 1900s, humans consumed about equal amount of omega–3 and omega–6 (1:1 or 1:2) in their diet.

Today, the ratio for Americans is 1:10 or 1:20 omega–3s to omega–6s, an imbalance associated with many diseases. Omega–3 is an anti–inflammatory and omega–6 is pro–inflammatory. Excessive pro–inflammatory compounds are linked to heart disease, arthritis, eczema and Alzheimer’s, so omega–3, particularly EPA, is needed to prevent or inhibit in ammation.

A matter of life and death Omega–3 deficiency was ranked as the sixth cause of preventable death in the U.S., accounting for 72,000–96,000 preventable deaths yearly, according to a recent study by Harvard School of Public Health researchers.

It even beat out high trans–fat intake, which is fresponsible for an estimated 63,000–97,000 deaths annually. “The numbers are shocking, especially given that these deaths are preventable with omega–3 EPA/DHA supplementation,” says Lori Covert, vice president of marketing and communications for Ocean Nutrition Canada, Dartmouth, Nova Scotia.

Why are Americans defcient? Omega–3 fatty acids are not one single nutrient but a collection of several, including EPA and DHA, both found in greatest abundance in coldwater fish (salmon, tuna, herring, lake trout, sardines, mackerel and anchovies, plus sh oils and algal oils). Since most Americans (or Europeans for that matter) don’t eat enough fish (twice a week in the U.S.), many of us are deficient in omega–3.

The FDA allows a number of fish and algal oils to be generally recognized as safe (GRAS) for food fortification. Fish oil contains significant amounts of EPA and DHA. “Fish do not efficiently synthesize DHA. They obtain DHA by eating zooplankton that eat micro–algae that contains DHA,” explains Ruben Abril, director of ingredient formulations and technical support at Martek Biosciences, Columbia, Md. Martek derives its DHA omega–3 oil from DHA–producing micro–algae harvested from algal–fermentation tanks.

“The DHA omega–3 oil that the algae naturally produces is extracted and processed in the same manner as any commercially available vegetable oil,” he explains. “We also can microencapsulate our DHA–rich oil so that it becomes a more stable, free–flowing product for applications where a powder works better.” Research suggests that these fatty acids may provide benefits beyond reducing the risk of cardiovascular disease. These include: lowering the risk of developing certain cancers and neurological disorders; complications from metabolic syndrome and diabetes; improved bone health among older adults; healthy pregnancy outcomes; good visual acuity and cognitive development among infants; fight depression, build brain cells (the brain is made up of 60 percent fat), can boost the immune system, help protect us from an array of illnesses including Alzheimer’s, and possibly reduce obesity. Although omega–3, omega–6 and omega–9 fatty acids all serve different functions within the body, the evidence is clear that incorporating balanced proportions of both essential and non–essential fatty acids is necessary for maintaining heart health and general wellness. Swedish researchers have found a link between fish consumption and higher cognitive scores among teenage males, according to a study published in Acta Paediatrica, a peer–reviewed pediatric research journal.

Comparing the responses of 3,972 15–year–old boys with their cognitive scores three years later when they entered compulsory military service, the study found a definite link between frequent fish consumption and cognitive function. When the young men ate fish more than once a week (58 percent), their combined intelligence scores were, on average, almost 11 percent higher than those who ate fish less than once a week (20 percent), and their visuospatial scores were 11 percent higher.

“There are a number of studies linking omega–3 EPA/DHA found in oily fish to thinking, reasoning and remembering abilities – our cognitive functions – in infants and the elderly,” said Jon Getzinger, Ocean Nutrition’s chief sales and marketing officer. “But [other] studies demonstrate omega–3 is important for our bodies and minds throughout our lives.”

Food scientist Julian McClements and colleagues at the University of Massachusetts Amherst Center for Health and Wellness are now investigating more economical ways to incorporate omega–3 fatty acids into foods. Microgel capsules are being developed to trap the omega–3 fatty acids, chemically stabilize them to prevent spoilage and allow them to be easily incorporated in beverages, yogurts, dressings, desserts and ice cream. They work by surrounding the delicate fish oils in a protective biopolymer microgel of water, antioxidant protein and dietary fiber.

Hemp for Hanes

September 17, 2009

By: Erik Siemers
Posted: 08/17/2009

It took a decade to prove that hemp could be soft as cotton. Now Naturally Advanced Technologies is starting to draw interest in its product from big players.

After nearly a decade of working to prove that burlap–like hemp can be as soft as cotton, Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. has caught the attention of some of the world’s biggest consumer brands.

Now it’s on the verge of generating revenue from its technology.

“The company is an eight–year overnight success,” said CEO Ken Barker.

The Portland, Oregon–based company this month announced a string of deals aimed at commercializing its Crailar Fiber Technology, which employs an enzyme treatment to make hemp and other organic fibers suitable for apparel and other uses.

The most notable is a joint development agreement with Hanesbrands Inc., which is among the world’s largest consumer apparel brands with $4.2 billion in sales last year.

Under the agreement, Naturally Advanced will retrofit existing Hanes dyeing equipment with the company’s enzyme process to study how its organic fibers can be entered into mainstream production.

If that phase is successful, the companies will work toward a marketing plan for Crailar in various Hanes categories and determine how it could be commercialized.

But whether hemp can rise above niche status to mainstream appeal will have a lot to do with cost.

In a conference call with investors, Barker said that because Crailar shrinks far less during production than cotton, the resulting savings could bring its final cost closer to regular cotton than organic cotton, which is 60 percent more expensive than regular cotton.

While Barker said it’s too early to guess how lucrative the Hanes deal could become, the partnership serves as “absolute validation that our technology is viable and capable of mainsteam apparel production.”

The deal was borne from successful tests conducted at North Carolina State University which, according to Barker, proved hemp can easily transition away from being a niche consumer fabric.

Matt Hall, vice president of external communications at Winson–Salem, North Caorlina–based Hanesbrands, said the idea isn’t to replace cotton. But if Crailar can be commercialized, it would mean being able to produce organic fibers for everyday products at competitive prices.

Hemp grows faster and uses far less water than cotton, making it a favorite among champions of sustainable apparel, which was a $3 billion international market in 2007, according to a report last year by Packaged Facts, a division of MarketResearch.com.

Even so, Naturally Advanced is eyeing more than just apparel markets.

In what could be an equally sizable deal, the company in June signed a development deal with Georgia Pacific Consumer Products LP, which makes household paper products such as Brawny paper towels. Barker said he was prohibited from disclosing details of the agreement.

It also reached a spinning and trademark licensing deal with Patrick Yarns of Kings Mountain, North Carolina, a maker of industrial yarns, to produce Crailar products for denim, work wear, home furnishings and carpet markets.

The company’s also developing uses of the technology applicable to forestry pulping and as diesel fuel.

Until now the company generated revenue from HTnaturals Inc., a wholly–owned sustainable apparel company. Last week it announced second–quarter sales of $401,000, down from $580,000 a year ago.

But now the company is shuttering HTnaturals and expects to generate its first revenue from Crailar in the next quarter. The anticipated revenue–the amount of which Barker declined to release–will be generated through a manufacturing agreement with Philadelphia dyehouse G.J. Littlewoods & Son Inc., which will produce the fabric ordered by Patrick Yarns.

“As we introduce Crailar into the market and into the industry next year, we’ll start generating the revenue everybody’s been waiting for,” Barker said.

HIA Member Companies Rank Well in Food & Beverage Category

September 17, 2009

By: PR Newswire
Posted: 08/17/2009

WASHINGTON, Aug. 17 /PRNewswire/ – The Hemp Industries Association (HIA), a trade association made up of hundreds of hemp businesses, is pleased that Living Harvest Foods and Nutiva (both companies are full business members of the HIA) have been named to Inc. Magazine’s 500/5000 List. Living Harvest Foods of Portland, OR was ranked No. 961 on the over all list with 318.2% growth and 2008 revenue of $4.4 million and was ranked No. 20 in the Food & Beverage category. Santa Paula, CA based Nutiva was ranked No. 2,174 on the over all list with 145.2% growth and 2008 revenue of $6.5 million and was ranked No. 52 in the Food & Beverage category.

Founded in 2002, Living Harvest became industry pioneers with the launch of the world’s first protein powder and stayed ahead of the curve with the subsequent launches of the first whole food blends in 2005 and the world’s first Hempmilk in 2007. In 2009, Living Harvest added Tempt, the first line of non-dairy frozen desserts made with Hempmilk in the United States, to their growing repertoire of hemp foods.

“Pioneering a variety of hemp foods over the years and launching innovative new products such as our Tempt Hempmilk and frozen dessert line is the key to our exceptional growth,” said Hans Fastre, CEO of Living Harvest Foods. “Our placement on the list of fastest growing companies in the U.S., as well our placement as the number 20 food and beverage company, is a testimony to the future of hemp foods.”

Founded in 1999 by John W. Roulac, Nutiva is America’s number one brand of nutritious organic hemp foods and extra-virgin coconut oil. Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using nourishing organic ingredients, enriching the soil, and supporting worthy causes.

“Nutiva’s vision is to replace our country’s overreliance on corn, soy, and dairy products with healthier hemp and coconut superfoods,” explains Roulac. “Nutiva is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this month and we are proud to be named one of the fastest growing companies in America by Inc. Magazine.”

Earlier this year the HIA released final estimates of the size of the U.S. retail market for hemp food and body care products in 2008. Data supporting the estimates show that retail sales of hemp food and body care products in the U.S. have continued to set records in 2008. Strong sales of popular hemp items like non-dairy milk, shelled hemp seed, soaps and lotions have occurred against the backdrop of state-licensed hemp farmers in North Dakota fighting a high stakes legal battle against the DEA to grow hemp for U.S. manufacturers.

“The HIA is confident that the total North American hemp food and body care market over the last year accounted for $100-120 million in retail sales,” comments Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. “We expect double-digit growth of the hemp food sector to continue in 2009, as consumer interest about green healthy products grows,” says Steenstra.

Naturally Advanced Technologies and Hanesbrands Inc. EnterMultiphase Joint Development Agreement for Organic–Fiber Commercialization

September 4, 2009

Posted: 08/04/2009

– Jointly developing a processing facility to produce organic apparel–grade fiber in first phase –
– To determine commercialization and marketing plan in second phase –
– Management schedules conference call on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 –


NAT, using technology developed with and licensed from The National Research Council of Canada (NRC), and Hanesbrands, a leading producer and marketer of innerwear, outerwear and hosiery apparel, will retrofit existing dying equipment at a Hanesbrands facility to develop a commercially viable use of the 100 percent organic fiber.Portland, Oregon, August 4, 2009– Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT, OTCBB: NADVF, TSXV: NAT) has entered into a multiphase joint development agreement with Hanesbrands Inc. (NYSE: HBI), that will allow Crailar® Organic Fibers technology to be processed for use in commercial apparel knit products made by Hanesbrands.

“We are eagerly working with NAT to incorporate Crailar Organic Fibers into our production process,” stated Michael Faircloth, Hanesbrands’ vice president of global supply chain support. “Our interest in developing Crailar’s potential for applications in the knit apparel market grew out of the impressive performance–enhancement characteristics it demonstrates, as well as the economic and environmental benefits it offers.”

“The agreement with Hanesbrands is a significant step in our plan to commercialize Crailar Organic Fibers, a technology that employs a 100 percent organic process that uses hemp as its feedstock,” stated Ken Barker, CEO of NAT. “As previously announced, Crailar Organic Fibers were successfully spun on existing cotton systems at North Carolina State University in tests that were sponsored by Hanesbrands. These tests demonstrated the evolution of hemp fiber from a niche market alternative to a mainstream solution. Now Hanesbrands is taking action to develop an in–house facility in North Carolina for processing Crailar Organic Fiber. We are very excited to continue working with Hanesbrands in this next phase of our partnership, which will include technology development, marketing initiatives and commercialization planning.”

Phase One: Development

  • Jointly develop a processing facility to produce organic apparel–grade fiber for use in commercial apparel products.
  • Establish the Technology Development Plan that will specify deliverables.

Phase Two: Commercialization

  • Develop coordinated marketing plan for Crailar.
  • Determine and execute an integrated commercialization plan that maximizes the supply chain.

The JDA was effective as of June 22nd, 2009 and carries a 30–day cancellation clause by either party.

Conference Call
Management will host a live conference call and interactive webcast presentation providing a company update on recent corporate developments on Tuesday, August 11, 2009 at 10:00 a.m. Pacific Time. Ken Barker, chief executive officer, will deliver a slide presentation followed by an interactive question and answer session. Event details follow:

  • To view the slide presentation and participate via the web, you may pre–register via the following link: http://www.naturallyadvanced.com/s/Investors.asp.
  • To participate via telephone, please dial 866–454–4209, or 913–312–9305 for international callers and mention password #9484209. We recommend dialing in at least 5–10 minutes before the presentation start time.
  • If you are unable to participate during the live webcast and call, it will be available for replay for 90 days at http://www.naturallyadvanced.com/s/Investors.asp. The telephone replay will be available until midnight Eastern Time, August 13, 2009 by dialing 888–203–1112, or 719–457–0820 for international callers, and entering password #9484209.

About Hanesbrands Inc.
Hanesbrands Inc. is a leading marketer of innerwear, outerwear and hosiery apparel under strong consumer brands, including Hanes, Champion, Playtex, Bali, Just My Size, barely there and Wonderbra. The company designs, manufactures, sources and sells T–shirts, bras, panties, men’s underwear, children’s underwear, socks, hosiery, casualwear and activewear. Hanesbrands has approximately 45,000 employees in more than 25 countries. More information may be found on the company’s Web site at www.hanesbrands.com.

About Naturally Advanced Technologies, Inc.
Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. is committed to unlocking the potential of renewable and environmentally sustainable biomass resources from hemp and other bast fibers. The company, through its wholly owned subsidiary, Crailar Fiber Technologies Inc., is developing proprietary technologies for production of bast fibers, cellulose pulp, and their resulting by–products, in collaboration with Canada’s National Research Council and the Alberta Research Council. Crailar® technology offers cost–effective and environmentally sustainable processing and production of natural, bast fibers such as hemp and flax, resulting in increased performance characteristics for use in textile, industrial, energy, medical and composite material applications. The company was founded in 1998 as a provider of environmentally friendly, socially responsible clothing and adheres to a “triple bottom line” philosophy, respecting the human rights of employees, the environmental impact of the company’s operations and fiscal responsibility to its shareholders. See www.naturallyadvanced.com

Neither the TSX Venture Exchange nor any regulatory authority accepts responsibility for the adequacy or accuracy of this news release.

Forward Looking Statement Disclaimer
This news release includes certain statements that may be deemed “forward–looking statements”. All statements in this news release, other than statements of historical facts, are forward–looking statements. Forward–looking statements or information are subject to a variety of risks and uncertainties which could cause actual events or results to differ from those reflected in the forward–looking statements or information and including, without limitation, risks and 3 uncertainties relating to: any market interruptions that may delay the trading of the Company’s shares, technological and operational challenges, needs for additional capital, changes in consumer preferences, market acceptance and technological changes, dependence on manufacturing and material supplies providers, international operations, competition, regulatory restrictions and the loss of key employees. In addition, the Company’s business and operations are subject to the risks set forth in the Company’s most recent Form 10–KSB, Form 10–QSB and other SEC filings which are available through EDGAR at www.sec.gov. These are among the primary risks we foresee at the present time. The Company assumes no obligation to update the forward–looking statements.

Investor Contact:
Kirsten Chapman / Cathy Mattison
Lippert / Heilshorn & Associates
415.433.3777
ir@naturallyadvanced.com

Media Contacts:
Naturally Advanced Technologies
Adam Handelsman
Lippert / Heilshorn & Associates
212.838.3777
AHandelsman@lhai.com

Hanesbrands Inc.
Matt Hall
Vice President, External Communications
336.519.3386
matt.hall@hanesbrands.com

CHTA Bulletin August 2009

September 1, 2009

Posted: 08/01/2009

Notice to Members

CHTA is moving to a specific annual membership renewal date. Memberships will now be valid from April 1–March 31. For current members we will be contacting about your current membership and asking you to renew until March 31, 2011.

Your support is greatly appreciated and it is only through your continuing membership that we can work collectively to build this industry to its full potential. If you happen to know of someone who is active in the industry but not a member let us know by emailing kim@hemptrade.ca

Meet Scott Larson–Zutter

You will all quickly become familiar with Scott who is working with CHTA for the month of August. Scott will be busy working on our membership database, updating information on your business.

By ensuring your information is current we can be assured that you are receiving all information being sent by CHTA and that we can correctly refer inquiries to your business. Scott will also be busy seeking out new potential members, encouraging the many companies involved in hemp that are currently not members of CHTA to join our Alliance.

Board of Directors Seeks Candidates

The 2009 Annual General Meeting is scheduled for 7:00 pm at the Victoria Inn Winnipeg on Monday November 16.

There are 2 vacancies on the Board and we encourage you to express your interest in getting involved.

You could be part of guiding the organization through the next few years that promise to be very exciting. The ground work that was done by the founding members of CHTA has now allowed the organization to truly start to become the voice for the industry and begin working on a research plan for the next five years. Our membership continues to increase and the number are expected to grow significantly in the next two years.

National ConventionTakes Shape

The CHTA National Hemp Convention is schedule for Tuesday November 17 & Wednesday 18 at the Victoria Inn in Winnipeg.

The Convention this year will include a poster session, trade show and two full days of panel discussions and speakers and a workshop for growers–On Farm Food Safety.

A tentative schedule can be found on the website at www.hemptrade.ca.

Topics for Day 1 include a global outlook, business and marketing panels and a discussion about preparedness for clinical trials. Day 2 is focussed on production and the fibre sector. Register today!

Research Matters

This section of our newsletter will be dedicated to research information that members would like us to share. We encourage you to submit information to kim@hemptrade.ca. (Please note: information to be included in the bulletin will be up to the discretion of the editor)

The following section will feature excerpts from Anndrea Hermann’s Master’s of Science in Hemp Fibre Agronomy conducted at the Department of Plant Science University of Manitoba Winnipeg, Manitoba. Future CHTA bulletins will feature a continuant of her thesis titled “The Effect of Plant Population Density and Harvest Timing on Agronomic Fibre Yield and Quality Characteristics of Industrial Hemp (Cannabis), Cultivar Alyssa, Grown in the Parkland Region of Manitoba, Canada.” Distribution of this section is not permitted without direct permission from Anndrea.

Abstract:

Hemp (Cannabis sativa L.) is a versatile plant that is grown for its premier grain and/or fibre characteristics. After 50 years of prohibition, Canadian hemp is being recognized and promoted worldwide. This has resulted in the increased need for Canadian based agronomic hemp research. Split–plot replicated studies were conducted in 2006 and 2007 at five locations in the Parkland region of Manitoba, Canada to determine the effects of three targeted plant population densities (100, 200, and 300 plants m–2) and three harvest timings (hemp decimal codes 2102, 2306 and 2307) on hemp fibre yield and quality characteristics. Alyssa, a Manitoba bred cultivar, was used to determine the treatment effects on self–thinning, stem diameter, plant height, biomass, bast and hurd percentage along with the lignin, cellulose, hemicellulose and holocellulsoe content of bast and hurd in three 20 cm stalk sections. The results from 5 site years indicated the targeted plant population density significantly influenced selfthinning, plant height and stem diameter in the bottom, middle and top sections of the plant. Due to inter–plant competition for available resources plant stands tended to be affected by increasing the population density, where final counts ranged from 50–280 plants m–2. Plant height (130–261 cm) and stem diameters (3–8 mm) in all sections were greatest at 100 plants m–2; thereafter decreases occurred. Harvest timing significantly influenced self–thinning, biomass and the percentage of bast and hurd. Plant counts decreased with delayed harvest. Biomass yield tended to increase at the last harvest (3350–6967 kg ha– 1) while the percentage of bast (7–29 %) and hurd (48–85 %) fibre tended to decrease as harvest was delayed. In general, bast fibre consisted of approximately 86% cellulose, 3% lignin, 7% hemicellulose and 93% holocellulose (combined cellulose and hemicellulose) while the hurd consisted of 56% cellulose, 16% lignin, 19% hemicellulose and 75% holocellulose at harvest 1 (technical maturity). Overall, the Canadian cultivar, Alyssa was relatively stable across the imposed treatments.

Hemp War Fires Up in US

May 11, 2009

Posted: 05/11/2009

The debate heats up over legalizing domestic production of hemp in the US – a banned crop that has a trace of THC – reports CNBC’s Jane Wells.