Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils has partnered with Renewable Choice Energy to offset 100% of their production facility's electricity with wind power offsets, and all of their facility's natural gas usage through carbon offsets. These programs demonstrate Manitoba Harvest's strong commitment to sustainability, their support for wind power and renewable energy, and their dedication toward the fight against global climate change.
In 2008, Manitoba Harvest installed many environmentally-friendly features into their new state-of-the-art organic processing facility in Winnipeg including energy efficient lighting, R20 insulation to lower heating and cooling costs, and energy efficient HVAC heating and cooling systems approved by the Manitoba Hydro Power Smart Program. However, the company investigated additional sustainability opportunities and learned that there is even more that could be done to demonstrate environmental stewardship. “We think its important to walk the talk and lead by example, so we are proud of our new green offset initiatives,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest.
Renewable Energy Credits like those purchased by Manitoba Harvest from Renewable Choice Energy (www.renewablechoice.com) are verified, certified and audited. Green-e, a widely respected non-profit program, verifies and certifies purchases and audits transactions, guaranteeing every credit comes from an environmentally sound project. The purchase of Renewable Energy Credits allows companies like Manitoba Harvest to guarantee the electricity they consume is replaced with clean power, in Manitoba Harvest’s case - 100% wind power.
Organic Hemp Farming is a Great Example of Sustainable Agriculture
Dedication to environmental protection and sustainability is not a new concept at Manitoba Harvest. The company’s work pioneering hemp agriculture and helping to spread organic farming helped earn them the 2006 Socially Responsible Business Award at the Natural Products Expo East trade show, the largest event of its kind in North America. The very roots of their business are ’green’ inspired.
Hemp farming is one of the finest examples of sustainable agriculture because it is naturally pest-resistant so pesticides are not used, and because hemp plants grow rapidly and close together, they crowd out weeds and don’t need herbicides. Hemp’s only fertilizer requirement is nitrogen, which can be provided by nitrogen fixing cover crops. Hemp is also a soil-building plant that is excellent for crop rotation. Its strong roots anchor the soil to prevent erosion and the leaves return nitrogen to the soil. Hemp cultivation generates virtually no waste and its byproducts are commercially useful.
“We are proud to be converting conventional farmers to organic agriculture, rather than just moving organic farmers of other crops over to organic hemp,” says Fata. “We have taken a steady, education-oriented approach to expanding organic hemp agriculture in Manitoba, and farmers are really catching on to the environmental and economic benefits.”
Hemp is ‘Green’ and So is the Day-To-Day Mission at Manitoba Harvest
In addition to the aforementioned environmental benefits of hemp agriculture, the offset programs, and the eco-friendly design aspects of their new facility, Manitoba Harvest implements sustainable business practices in their day-to-day operations. For example: all promotional materials are printed on recycled or tree-free paper with vegetable based inks; products are packaged in recyclable or reusable packaging with coding and recycling advice displayed on labels to assist consumers; all paper, glass and plastics generated by operations are recycled; and the company supports environmentally friendly companies by giving sustainable products as promotional gifts.
Manitoba Harvest produces cold pressed Hemp Seed Oil, Shelled Hemp Seed, Hemp Seed Butter and a line of Hemp Protein Powders at their new certified organic and kosher, 20,000 Sq. Ft. state-of-the-art facility. They also produce Hemp Bliss - the award-winning and first-ever line of non dairy organic hempmilks. In addition to their brand, the company also sells raw hemp ingredients to a growing number of companies that make non-dairy beverages, waffles, breads, frozen desserts, cookies, pastas, salad dressings, protein powders, energy bars and sauces, as well as cosmetics and skin care products.
Hemp Foods that are Rich in Omega-3 and Protein are Hot – Just ask Oprah!
According to research by the natural products market information company SPINS, from 2007 to 2008 sales of hempmilk grew 162%, shelled hemp seed rose 44% and hemp protein powders increased 21%. Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is a hemp industry leader that is one of the fastest growing private companies in Manitoba. “Thanks to the recent attention given to hemp by nutrition experts and even mainstream TV shows like Oprah, hemp has emerged from being thought of as just a hippy product to its new status as a popular healthy food with vast culinary applications,” says Mike Fata, President and co-founder of Manitoba Harvest.
“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 are also a nutritious source of protein, fiber, vitamins and minerals. “People are learning that hemp is a nutritional powerhouse – and it has a great flavor and gourmet appeal,” says Fata. All Manitoba Harvest products are gluten-free, allergy friendly and contain no artificial ingredients or preservatives.
Founded in 1998, Manitoba Harvest Hemp Foods & Oils is the largest farmer-owned, vertically integrated hemp food manufacturer in the world. The company mission is to create the healthiest hemp foods, to educate the public about healthy lifestyle choices and to support sustainable and organic agriculture. For more information, please visit www.manitobaharvest.com.