(Winnipeg, Manitoba – January 26, 2007) – Hemp foods are one of the hottest trends in the health food industry. To capitalize on the growing popularity of hemp foods and to penetrate even deeper into the marketplace, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils has hired natural product industry veteran Robb Wagg as their new U.S. National Sales Manager.
“Robb has an incredible knowledge of the inner workings of the health food industry,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder. Wagg has been working in the industry since 1978, including sales stints with leading companies such as White Wave and Cloud Nine, Inc. “His solid reputation and business network are invaluable assets for us as we continue to grow at a rapid rate,” he adds. PROFIT Magazine recently featured Manitoba Harvest in the 2006 PROFIT 100 list as one of the fastest growing companies in Canada. In the past 5 years, sales have grown more than 1,000%.
The ‘Healthy Hemp’ feature that appeared on the NBC Today Show last week (http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/16637630) is yet another demonstration of how hemp has earned its way onto the ‘radar screen,’ and menu, of mainstream America. Phil Lempert, NBC’s food editor and industry expert, led the discussion. “These are going to be the hottest products in 2007,” said Lempert, whom is also known as the Supermarket Guru. “This is powerful nutrition,” added Lempert.
“Foods that offer omega-3 essential fatty acids, like hemp, are hot because medical evidence touting the health benefits continues to grow,” notes Fata. Hemp foods also have a strong digestible protein profile, fiber and an abundance of vitamins and minerals. “People are learning that hemp is a nutritional powerhouse – and it has a great flavour and gourmet appeal,” says Fata. “Consumer and retailer education has always been a core priority for us, and that is clearly one of Robb’s strengths,” adds Fata.
Manitoba Harvest is a sustainable agriculture pioneer that is leading the way for hemp to be the next agricultural success story in Canada. In the 1990’s activist and co-founder Martin Moravcik worked with the Manitoba and Canadian governments to re-legalize hemp agriculture. The goal of reintroducing hemp farming came to fruition in 1998 when the Canadian government began issuing hemp farming licenses and he partnered with Mike Fata and Alex Chwaiewsky to form Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils. The company is now the largest hemp-foods only processor in North America.
Manitoba Harvest contracts more than 6,000 acres of hemp seed production in Manitoba with more than 20 farmers that are shareholders in the company. They process the raw seed into organic hemp seed oil, shelled hemp seed, hemp seed butter, hemp protein powder and new Hemp Bliss – a line of non-dairy hempmilk. Manitoba Harvest owns and operates a kosher and USDA certified organic facility and their products are distributed to thousands of stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan. Manitoba Harvest products are also sold as bulk ingredients to food and cosmetic manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.