Last year, a company called Naturally Spendid shipped $6.3 million worth of hemp seed to South Korea.
Now, the Pitt Meadows company wants to ride that initial wave by exporting more value-added hemp products in 2018.
“We saw a large consumer base that was demanding hemp in 2016. What we’d like to do now is access that hemp demand with new value-added products,” company president J. Craig Goodwin said last week in a meeting with Canadian ambassador Eric Walsh in Pitt Meadows.
Touting hemp seed as a renewable and sustainable source of Omega 3, Naturally Splendid says demand for the product will grow, along with the demand for cannabidiol or CBD, a natural non-psychoactive concentrate extracted from hemp that industry claims contains vitamins with natural therapeutic benefits.
Walsh, ambassador to South Korea, cautioned though that the market is unpredictable. He advised them to try to, “catch the wave at the right time.”
“That’s the problem in the Korean market, is that it’s really dynamic and it’s really like – everybody’s got to have this now,” said Walsh.
Naturally Splendid is hoping to be able to partner with a Western company that is more established in the Korean market to get their lines of hemp foods, sports nutrition, skin care and pet care products on to store shelves.
The company has a 3,300 sq. foot packaging facility located in the Golden Ears Business Park. Naturally Splendid acquired Prosnack Natural Foods in North Vancouver and is planning to move that facility into the Pitt Meadows business park.
They also have a bioprocessing facility in Saskatoon, Sask., where they do their extraction formulation of oils and cbd’s.
They have been in business for eight years and a public company for five years and is now working towards their organic certification.
Ultimately the ambassador’s message was positive saying that Canada is renowned for their high quality products in South Korea.
“Whether it’s the fresh water, whether it’s the clean air, everything that goes into the image of Canada, goes into their health food and therefore will always have an advantage over even American brands, or certainly Chinese brands that might be selling similar products,” said Walsh.
Naturally Splendid is located in phase one of Golden Ears Business Park, owned by Onni. The second phase of the park is still in construction, with two new buildings for 2018. Phases three and four, once completed, will see Onni with almost four million square feet of light industrial space.
Phases three and four have been the target of opposition from neighbours in the South Bonson area, including public demonstrations and filibuster-style public hearings.
Council has been dealing with issues such as the height and character of the buildings, traffic safety and setbacks.
At a council meeting two weeks ago, there was a majority vote that pathways and berms in the new development will remain under Onni ownership but that they won’t start building paths until 40 per cent of the development is built out.
“That means in phase four it might not be done for 10 or 12 years,” said Coun. Bill Dingwall.
“So it’s a fairly significant change to the original motions of council which said on fourth reading within two years those pathways have to be built,” he added.