High-tech markets for hemp with NZ Natural Fibres & Carrfields

High-value crops are often discussed on Sarah's Country as the potential to return more to farmers from fewer inputs. Whilst the industry for hemp seed and oil is becoming more established in New Zealand, the agronomic and market development for fibre has a way to go.

In late December 2022, NZ Natural Fibres (co-owned by Carrfields NZ & Hemp NZ) received a $3.2million Sustainable Food & Fibre Futures Fund to develop its hemp growing, processing and marketing capability to“go further, faster” towards taking a global leadership position in the development of industrial and consumer products made from hemp fibre.


"Once you get past wool-hemp hybrid yarns there's smart fibres such as carbon fibre in high-performance sport equipment, satelittes or America's Cup boats and even using hemp for carbon storage like batteries," - Colin McKenzie, CEO, NZ Natural Fibres.


Carrfields was originally approached by Hemp NZ when they were looking for a factory to process the hemp fibre and the partnership was born with Carrfields contracting history and field experience with growing specialty crops.


"It grows very quickly in a short amount of time so it might have less fertiliser requirements than other crops and oftern fertiliser can be quite a large part of a crop's carbon emissions," - Travis Ryan-Salter, Senior Research Officer, Carrfields.


Learn more about NZ Natural Fibres

MPI backs project to establish internationally competitive hemp seed processing plant (MPI.govt.nz)

Agricultural firms team up to make wool and hemp blended products (Stuff.co.nz)


This episode is the first in a new weekly series for 2022 on Sarah's Country 'Shaping our future' where we help New Zealand farmers & growers navigate the big issues to be more prepared for the challenges and opportunities ahead!

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