As an educational environment, High on Hemp is dedicated to creating purposeful, relevant conversations between brands and the people. So it is only fitting that today we kick off our new “Behind The Brand” segment with one of our most-loved hemp food brands in Australia, Australian Primary Hemp.
We sit down with Skye Patterson, Co-Founder of Australian Primary Hemp to discuss the brands success and the future of hemp in Australia.
Where did the idea of Australian Primary Hemp all begin?
The Australian Primary Hemp journey began with myself and three friends, a passion for agriculture and an interest in developing a sustainable food source.
Back in early 2016, Charlie Mann, Alexandra Mann, James Hood and myself decided to look into alternative sources of protein that could not only nourish our bodies but benefit the environment and the Australian agricultural industry. After extensive research, our attention focused in on industrial hemp.
Although hemp was not legal to consume in Australia at the time, we realised how incredible this food source could be for the Australian community both for the agricultural industry and consumers, and thought it was only a matter of time before Australia got on board. With all this research, we planted our first trial crop and founded Australian Primary Hemp in mid 2016.
With being first movers in the Australian Hemp Food Industry, what have been some of the hardest obstacles you have faced?
Where to begin! It was always going to be difficult moving into an industry that had barely began in Australia and it was clear that the general association hemp had with Marijuana was going to be one of our toughest obstacle to overcome.
Breaking down the stigma attached to hemp products has come a long way since the food was legalised for consumption in November 2017. But there is still a lot of work to be done with a lot of consumers still unaware of its health benefits and uses!
Likewise, the lack of research and development in farming hemp in Australia has been another obstacle we seem to be overcoming. With more variety trials happening across the country, we hope to see stronger yields develop with each harvest.
On the contrary, what are some of your proudest moments to date?
One of our proudest moments as a company would definitely have to be, being recognised at the Food and Beverage Industry Awards as the Paddock to Plate category winner!I think winning an award like this shows just how far the hemp industry has come in the short amount of time it has been legalised.
To add to this, having our imported, hemp specific dehuller up and running in March this year was a massive success for our company, with it being the only in Australia of its size and capacity at the time.
This lead to Australian Primary Hemp launching our new line of products Hemp Seeds, along with Hemp Balance and Hemp Boost which joined our original Hemp Oil. Plus, we have had another product edition this month with the launch of our DIY Hemp Mylk Kits!
Everyday we seem to be achieving goals I would have never thought were possible when we started the company. I think overall, I am really proud of the success of the Australian hemp industry and the amazing team that makes up Australian Primary Hemp!
What changes have you seen in the industry since Australian Primary Hemp began its journey?
The biggest change we have seen would definitely be the change of legislation regarding the consumption of hemp foods in Australia! The flow on effect from this has brought a number of important changes in the industry such as the education and awareness of hemp’s nutritional benefits. Before the laws were changed the market for hemp was very underground, not many people were aware of it as a food source or its health and environmental benefits. Fast forward to today and it would be very uncommon for a health food store or a health conscious consumer to not know about hemp.
We have also seen hemp becoming more of a mainstream ingredient due to its popularity, with a number of value added products hitting our shelves that we have never seen before like, Hemp Kombucha, Hemp Honey, Hemp Mylk, Hemp Protein Bars to name a few. Most of these are now being stocked in the supermarket giants such as Coles and Woolies.
I believe a lot of this comes down to the law change, which has really shone a light on hemp and the industry as a whole.
Lastly, the biggest change we’ve seen, which we are most proud of, is the new opportunities we can now offer Australian farmers.
You released two new premium protein products during the year, Hemp Balance and Hemp Boost. Can you talk us through the difference between both and their benefits?
Yes, Hemp Balance and Hemp Boost are two of our protein powders!
They are very different in their benefits though, so make sure you don’t get them confused!
Our Hemp Balance is a protein, fibre and omega powder containing essential vitamins and minerals. This powder is perfect for baking, raw treats, smoothies and sprinkled on your breakfast! We recommend this for someone who is looking to add a balance of goodness to their daily diet.
Our Hemp Boost on the other hand, is a higher concentrated protein powder, containing 50% protein and high magnesium levels. In comparison to other protein powders, our Hemp Boost is completely natural, raw and vegan with no chemical extractions or additives. I find this perfect in smoothies and protein balls and would recommend it to anyone looking for a plant-based protein supplement.
What should we be expecting next from Australian Primary Hemp? We love the thought of new products!
Without giving too much away, we are currently focusing on the farming side of the business. It is imperative to our business and the industry as a whole, that we are able to achieve strong yields with our crops and have enough farmers on board to meet demand!
We hope that our up and coming summer hemp crops will be able to solidify our Australian hemp supply and help grow the industry.
Alongside our farming focus, we are always working on refining processing techniques to offer the highest quality hemp products as well as, brainstorming new ideas for our retail line.
I have my fingers crossed that 2019 will be our biggest year yet, so you will have to stay tuned…
Finish this sentence: Hemp to us is …
Hemp to us is the answer to a sustainable protein source which can not only nourish our bodies but have a positive effect and impact on the environment. Famously – the only plant that can clothe you, house you and feed you!