• iHemp presentation aims to sow seed for growth in Hawke's Bay

iHemp presentation aims to sow seed for growth in Hawke's Bay

A presentation aimed at growing the iHemp industry in Hawke's Bay will be held tomorrow. 

Hawke's Bay is the fourth stop on the nationwide NZHIA iHemp Discovery & Investment Tour 2022, held by the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association, the industry organisation dedicated to the promotion and economic growth of industrial hemp in NZ. 

NZHIA Chair Richard Barge says the objective is to develop collaborative regional networks to allow scalable expansion of this emerging industry across a variety of sectors by offering information and expertise that will inspire "light bulb" moments. 

"The environment, the economy, the government and consumers are moving to sustainable industries to help achieve their goals, ranging from climate change to export and growth targets. National conversations about affordable health, housing and food can be positively influenced by industrial hemp. 

"We need to build resilient supply chains and thriving regional economies which will develop economic opportunities for the whole of Aotearoa New Zealand. Using sustainable crops of seed and fibre with the qualities of industrial hemp makes both environmental and economic sense. 

He says Hawke's Bay is "already on the map" with a couple of hemp businesses. 

“The demand 'pull' of end-users will support farmers and primary processors to create the supply 'push' by recognising that their products have a market. The call to action will be to join the iHemp industry community, to invest/engage, and to collaborate with the industry to build processing capacity and solutions." 

NZ Food Innovation Network Hawke's Bay Business Development Manager Nicky Solomon will be speaking on developing a hemp-based food or beverage and says there is a lot of capability within the region to do - both equipment-wise and capability-wise. 

Hastings Mayor Sandra Hazlehurst says she is pleased to have been asked to speak at this meeting and, in doing so, encourage investment into growing the hemp industry in our district. 

"I am a huge supporter of our primary industry - it is incredibly important to Hastings and the wider Hawke’s Bay. It is a key driver of our economy and the provider of employment to so many of our people, contributing to our region’s economic and social well-being." 

She says council has long been a supporter of innovation, particularly in the primary sector.

"It is about having many strings to our bow – and hemp production and the products that can come from this product. From instigating Foodeast, Food and Innovation Hub, to welcoming organisations like the New Zealand Hemp Industries Association to Hastings, we are committed to supporting our primary sector. 

"Adding ‘new’ primary industries can only be good for our economy and our people. If we look at what is already being achieved - from the opening of Rockit Global’s new 21,000 square metre pack house, coolstore and global offices at Irongate last year, to T&G Global’s current construction of the Southern Hemisphere’s largest pack house at Whakatu, to the recent opening of Kelston pack house – we can see that we truly are the ‘Great Things Grow Here’ capital of New Zealand."

The NZHIA iHemp Discovery & Investment Tour: Creating growth partnerships in the hemp industry will be held tomorrow (Tuesday, June 28) at the Havelock North Function Centre from 7pm to 10pm. 

For more information, visit www.nzhia.com/events/ihemptour/ and to get tickets, visit: https://events.humanitix.com/napier-chb-creating-growth-partnerships-in-the-hemp-industry

Attendee numbers are limited for each event. In-person tickets are $15.00 and online live streaming access $10.00. Ticket proceeds will support the NZHIA with future projects, member development, and resources.