Trio Team Up to Trial Innovative Hemp-Based Food Products

Sustainable Foods has partnered with Greenfern Industries and the Riddet Institute to commercialise an innovative new hemp meat substitute and hemp snack products.

Greenfern Industries, Sustainable Foods, and the Riddet Institute (Massey University) are working together on the initiative that will see them develop the hemp-based food products and ingredients for both New Zealand and export markets.

Sustainable Foods Ltd is an alternative protein food company focused on plant-based products. Its retail brand is The Craft Meat Co and its No Meat products include mince, burgers, sausages, and meals that it supplies into the NZ and export retail and foodservice markets.

Founders of Sustainable Foods Justin Lemmens and Kyran Rei said that after several years of development their New Zealand-made plant protein products are focused on providing a great tasting conscious consumption opportunity, good for the planet and good for people.

“From a nutritional standpoint, our products all use hemp, which is considered one of the most nutritionally complete food sources in the world, increasing the total consumable protein content in our products,” Lemmens and Rei said.

“We have a strong sustainability alignment with Greenfern, and we’re thrilled at the strategic partnership to further develop New Zealand-made and -grown products to meet the world’s growing demand for plant-based dietary choices.”

While Greenfern’s co-director Dan Casey said it made sense to partner with other relevant industry leaders to utilise the products of Greenfern’s hemp crops.

“We have an abundance of high-quality hemp from which we obtain seed, cake and oil so we partnered with the Riddet Institute to work on background research and hemp product development. “

The Riddet Institute is a premier national Centre of Research Excellence for fundamental and strategic scientific research in food, with expertise that intersects food science, digestive physiology, and human nutrition.

Distinguished Professor and director of the Riddet Institute Harjinder Singh said the research and product development in the area of alternative proteins, particularly meat substitutes, is moving fast.

“New Zealand-grown hemp and its use in food products is a growth area for our primary industries. The Institute is focussing effort to assist growers in converting their crops to new and value-added food products for domestic and international markets,” Singh said.

“This also furthers our scientific understanding of hemp as a food source. We are delighted to partner with Greenfern Industries and Sustainable Foods and look forward to continuing our collaboration.”

The first step together will see commercial production trials of a meat alternative along with snack products where hemp is a key ingredient.

“We will be very engaged during the rest of 2020 with product trials, focus groups and taste and texture profiling,” Lemmens and Rei said.

“At this stage we plan to release our new NZ grown Hemp product onto retail shelves in early 2021.”