The deal includes co-funding from MIHI for a six-month project to undertake market research into North America for hemp-derived products.
MIHI is a collaboration of Māori and non-Māori entities seeking to grow the hemp industry in New Zealand.
The project will include a review of the regulatory landscape and options for commercialising hemp-derived products that are appealing to consumers, as well as investigating new product development.
It will also inform future research to provide the evidence needed to validate the health benefits and unique value of hemp products.
Once developed, the products will not only increase the growth of the hemp industry in New Zealand, but also the value of New Zealand as a food exporter.
The approach to the project is one based on ‘whanaungatanga’ (collaboration) and ‘tino rangatiratanga’ (self-determination), which are values held strongly by MIHI.
“This approach of collaboration and self-determination will leverage and utilise the expertise and knowledge required to develop and commercialise unique hemp food products,” said Richard Jones, MIHI Coordinator.
“It also provides a platform that enables Māori to lead, create and deliver high-value hemp-derived products that incorporate Māori values and culture.”
The project intends to focus on initiatives that contribute to the sustainable future and well-being of the whenua (land) and the people.
“This project supports the HVN mission by focusing on the creation of new hemp food products that emphasise the health benefits derived from the plant to improve well-being,” said Joanne Todd, HVN National Science Challenge Director.
“This also aligns with customer trends of seeking healthy products, free from animal products or chemical additives.
“This project also supports the intent of the HVN strategy by contributing to the growth of the New Zealand food and beverage export market through the creation and development of new hemp-derived products unique to New Zealand, and the HVN focus on supporting Māori owned businesses and indigenous innovation.”
The HVN Challenge is a governmet-backed scheme to drive innovative research into the health and wellbeing attributes of New Zealand produced foods for major export markets.
The Challenge has a $45.6 million budgeted research investment over the next five years