Murray River Organics (ASX: MRG) is sowing the first organic hemp crop on its organic certified Nangiloc property.
MRG Chief Executive Valentina Tripp said the planting will result in the largest organic edible hemp crop in Australia with the company seeking to capitalise on growing demand in global markets for hempseed.
Growing demand for organic hemp-based foods is an emerging trend in the food industry due to the popularity of vegetarian based diets, such as vegan, and increasing consumption of plant-based protein,” Ms Tripp said.
“Hempseed is becoming the go-to product for health- conscious Australians looking for the next superfood and is lauded as a complete protein, containing all essential amino acids.”
According to Ms Tripp, a 30g serving of hemp seeds contains around 11g protein, similar to grass fed beef and more than almonds, and due to its protein composition is far more digestible and is high in antioxidants, vitamins E & C, calcium and iron.
The global market for organic hempseed is currently estimated at being worth more than $6 billion with numerous new products still in the development cycle.
As well as being in demand as a standalone superfood, hempseed is being used as a protein infusion to a range of other food categories to boost their health and wellness credentials.
Hemp now appears in products such as kombucha, chocolate, cereals, protein powder, snacks, cooking oils and even hemp infused spring water. As a highly versatile ingredient with a pleasant flavour, the usage of hemp in new product development is endless.
“The domestic retail market for consumable hemp products is growing rapidly and there is strong interest from MRG’s international customers for unique Australian Healthy Organic Hemp products. As part of our strategy to develop market leading purpose driven organic brands, MRG has branded hemp products currently in development under the Murray River Organics brand,” Ms Tripp said.
Ms Tripp said the potential of growing organic hemp on MRG’S farms aligned with the company’s strategy of producing highly nutritious, organic crops commanding premium prices and she was optimistic about broader opportunities in hemp.
“We are extremely supportive of the Victorian Government’s Hemp initiative in setting up a cross-party taskforce to investigate the industrial use of hemp and identify opportunities to grow the industry.
“While the current focus in Victoria is on hempseed used for food, the taskforce is examining a variety of potential applications across a diverse range of products including textiles, bio-composite plastics, paper, automotive, construction, bio-fuel, oil and cosmetics.”