From Paddock to Plate

In August this year, we did the unexpected. Against all odds, Australian Primary Hemp won the Paddock to Plate award at the Australia & New Zealand Food and Beverage Industry Awards!

We were up against some massive, well-established companies and for an industry that has only just taken off in Australia, we are incredibly proud to be paving the way.

Australian Primary Hemp was established with the goal of finding a sustainable, high protein source that could be grown and produced in Australia and could provide farmers with a sustainable cropping alternative. With all founders, directors and staff coming from farming backgrounds, receiving this award was an honour.

The team at Australian Primary Hemp are passionate about promoting transparency throughout the hemp and food industry, so consumers know exactly where their products come from and what processing it undergoes before consuming it.

In light of this, we have decided to release our submission to the Food and Beverage Industry Awards for the Paddock to Plate category so our customers can have a better understanding of our processing and standards in producing premium Australian grown hemp products.

Food and Beverage Industry Awards Submission

Please write a brief overview of the business:
The Australian Primary Hemp journey began with four good mates, a passion for agriculture and an interest in developing a sustainable food source. Since starting in August 2016, this small idea has come to life and we are now one of Australia's largest producers of Aussie grown hemp!

Australian Primary Hemp offers customers a complete end-to-end hemp service, handling everything from seed selection, farming and processing to contract packaging, bulk and retail sales.

By controlling all points of contact we can guarantee the quality and freshness of our hemp products. It is incredibly important that we continue to support the local Australian community in everything we do. For this reason, our products are made from Australian grown hemp seed only.

With all founders having diverse backgrounds in agriculture, the company is excited to be at the forefront of the developing hemp industry in Australia, across areas such as health food products, hemp processing and an alternative, viable, sustainable farming solution. From paddock to plate.

Please explain what market needs your product fulfils:
With consumers becoming wearier of where their produce and products come from, we believe we are fulfilling a need by providing a sustainable, all natural Australian grown superfood.

Delicious magazine recently announced in February this year, that more than 2 million Australians are now vegan. This is why the hemp is so important, as it contains high amounts of protein, fibre and omega that are usually sourced from animal-based products.

The average woman should be consuming 46g of protein a day according to Body and Soul, Hemp Seeds contain 7.7g of protein per serve where our Hemp Boost contains 13g per serve. Making it easy for vegetarians and vegans to get a good amount of protein when added to their meals each day.

As for essential fatty acids, these are most commonly found in fish. Hemp Seeds and Hemp Oil contain the perfect, 1 to 3 ratio of omega 3 and 6, making it a great plant-based alternative.

Likewise, according to Nine News the average Australian is not consuming enough fibre each day, with the recommended intake to be 25 to 30g. Our Hemp Balance contains 10g of fibre per serve, making it a great ingredient to add to your smoothie to make sure you are achieving the recommended amount.   

Please explain how your product differs to others currently in the market:
The difference between us and other hemp products in the market is that Australian Primary Hemp are the farmers. We work directly with Australian farmers as well as having our own land, to grow hemp. Being the farmers allows us to control all points of contact with the seed and guarantee the freshness and quality of the product.

We are currently the only hemp company in Australia with the specific commercial hemp de-hulling equipment of its size and quality. This imported, world-class machinery allows us to produce Australia’s highest quality Hemp Seed.

A major value of our company that sets us aside from our competitors is transparency. In such a new an emerging industry, there are still a lot of unknowns such as whether the hemp is imported, grown in Australia or just packaged in Australia. We have seen a large number of companies mislead their customers to believe they are buying Australian produce when it has actually been imported from a foreign country. Australian Primary Hemp pride ourselves on being completely transparent with our customers in terms of seed origin, where it has been farmed, how it has been farmed and where it has been processed. We believe it is important to highlight exactly where the food has come from, so consumers can trust our brand and believe in our product.

Please explain how your product is processed:
Once we receive the hemp grain from the farm, it generally undergoes one of three processes before being distributed into either our retail or bulk sales lines.

Before the hemp grain lands in our warehouse, the grain will be cleaned, dried and graded. Once it arrives in our Geelong based facility, all grain is tested to ensure it is of processing quality. When it’s all cleared, the production processes begin!

Process 1: De-hulling
In order to produce our Hemp Seeds, we need to de-hull the hemp grain. De-hulling is the process of separation, where our machinery separates the hard outer shell (husk) of the hemp grain and the edible Hemp Seed (heart) inside. Any hemp grain that isn’t de-hulled is sent to be cold-pressed (Process 2).

Process 2: Cold Pressing
Our vibrant green Hemp Oil is produced when our hemp grain undergoes oil extraction through a cold pressing machine. What’s left over after extracting the hemp oil is what we call ‘hemp cake’. This cake is nutrient rich and perfect for producing both protein and high fibre powders. While the oil is sent back to our hemp-quarters to be packaged, the ‘hemp cake’ is sent on for further processing at our partnered milling company (Process 3).

Process 3: Milling
The milling process uses different milling and sifting techniques to produce our two different hemp powders. All products are then packaged in our Geelong based facility, ready for dispatch!

From these processes outlined above Australian Primary Hemp produces four different products for their retail and bulk sales lines. They are; hulled Hemp Seeds, cold pressed Hemp Oil, Hemp Balance (high fibre powder) and Hemp Boost (high protein powder). All four products are 100% Australian and only contain one ingredient, hemp!  

Please explain where the producer is located and how you maintain freshness during transportation:
Australian Primary Hemp works with farmers around Australia to grow hemp as well as having our own farmer in the Western District of Victoria. We are currently working with farmers in Victoria, New South Wales, Tasmania and South Australia.

We encourage all of our growers to farm sustainably where possible. Sustainable agriculture is the practice of growing food in a way that preserves and enhances the environment. It provides good health for individuals and communities, economic opportunity and connects people to the land around them.

It is highly important to Australian Primary Hemp that we maintain freshness during transportation, as our products are heat and light sensitive. Our packaging helps preserve the freshness and temperature of the hemp by having a foil lining on the inside of our packaging and a UV protection sleeve on our bottles.

All freighted orders are transported with refrigeration. Any orders to Western Australia are express shipped, other domestic orders are always shipped early in the week on days that do not exceed 27 degrees. Our team is always mindful of weather conditions and don’t ship at the end of the week to avoid having the product sitting over the weekend.  

Please describe how you achieved this successful outcome, including what steps were necessary to be taken:
The initial steps in setting up the company were identifying the gap in the market for Australian hemp and it’s derived products. At the time, Australian legislation restricted the consumption of hemp, however, having seen the success of the industry globally, we were confident that it was a matter of time before Australia got on board with this amazing plant.

This led to a lot of research and a trial crop to get the ball rolling and basically established the foundations of our company. For about 8 months we were gradually growing and really seeing some positive movements within the industry. With the long-standing lobbying from key industry people and associations, the legislation was finally changed on November 12, 2017, to recognise hemp as a food. Since then, we have seen astronomical industry growth and also in our business.

I think this comes back to how versatile hemp is as a crop, it has over 25,000 different uses including being used to make healthy food products, clothing, plastic, paper, construction materials, biofuel and rope to name a few. But most of all, people are excited about how sustainable hemp is and the positive impact it has on the environment. This has definitely influenced the success of the business.