(Winnipeg, Manitoba – December 7, 2006) – Manitoba Harvest™ Hemp Foods & Oils has taken their practice of total quality management to a whole new level by hiring a veteran professional dedicated to this important aspect of their company. Bill Barker, whom has spent his entire 25-year career in the QA/QC field, has been hired as the company’s Quality Control Manager. Before joining Manitoba Harvest, Barker spent 16 years as the Laboratory Manager/Quality Manager at an ISO 17025 accredited laboratory. Barker holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Microbiology and belongs to several professional organizations.
Although Barker’s focus will be primarily on production quality, his role will include continuous quality improvement in all phases of the organization. “Bill has a wealth of experience that Manitoba Harvest and our customers will benefit from,” says Mike Fata, Manitoba Harvest’s President. “As a small company experiencing rapid growth and change, we all share a lot of responsibilities and will benefit from Bill’s focus on organization quality,” notes Fata of the company’s explosive growth, which was recognized this year in “the Profit 100” list of the fastest growing companies in Canada.
Hemp foods are one of the hottest trends in the natural products industry, and the company wants to ensure that quality is not compromised as they continue to expand. “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 – but the product must be managed carefully to maintain the nutritional value and freshness,” says Fata. “That is why Bill’s role is very important,” he adds.
FRESHNESS & QUALITY IS PARAMOUNT FOR MANITOBA HARVEST HEMP FOODS
Manitoba Harvest grows, processes and packages all of their own products. Because of this advantage, they are better able to ensure freshness, price stability and quality for their customers. Freshness is critical because improperly processed, stored or packaged products can become rancid. To ensure nutritional value and flavor, Manitoba Harvest creates their products fresh on-demand daily. They stay focused by being a hemp food-only processor. Manitoba Harvest follows HACCP & GMP systems and utilizes an innovative freshness scale - a monthly system of testing to ensure all products meet required quality. To further ensure freshness, the company uses a state-of-the-art atmospheric packaging process.
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 hemp seed oil, shelled hemp seed, hemp seed nut butter and hemp protein powder at their kosher and USDA certified organic facility. Manitoba Harvest products are distributed to thousands of stores in the U.S., Canada, Europe and Japan, and their products are sold as bulk ingredients to food and cosmetic manufacturers. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.