The majority of the hemp sold in the US has been sourced from Canada. Hemp seed is planted in May and harvested 120 days later; this fits well into Canada’s short growing season but makes the crop vulnerable to weather conditions that shorten that window. In 2010, many regions in Canada were hit by record-breaking rains that lasted through June, washing out much of the hemp.
As the law of supply and demand took hold, Canadian hemp growers and suppliers increased prices forcing some manufacturers to turn away from this ingredient and others to look for alternative sources. But they too, knowing about the situation in Canada, decided to take advantage of the shortage; hemp seed and nut prices jumped by as much as 50%.
It’s been a tough year for hemp food companies. Despite rising hemp and fuel prices, just an example; both Hempco Canada Bulk & Living Harvest has resisted price increases in this tough economy; it’s important to us that our products remain affordable – we want as many people as possible to have access to the superior nutrition it offers.
The 2011 crop is in the ground; moisture problems in Canada again this year pushed planting into June but our growers are confident we’ll see our contracted seed harvested in October. This is great news since they provide us with the premium varietals we prefer – Alyssa, USO, and a new hybrid called Delores. These varietals produce a larger, sweeter nut that puts a bit more creaminess into our milk. Growing 6 to 8 feet tall, these varietals also provide a reasonable amount of fiber for the bio-fiber industry.
Hempco Canada Bulk had also expanded our grower list this year to mitigate supply risk.
Author: Cathy Hearn _ Living Harvest.com