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Does Hemp Have an Image Problem - Name Change Mooted?

Hemp, an emerging protein source, has been spotlighted in the recent publication by FoodHQ titled ‘Unleashing New Zealand’s Next Protein Revolution,' in which NZ based, Dr. Victoria Hatton, Systems Strategist and CEO of FoodHQ, emphasises its enormous potential.


'If we do not diversify New Zealand not only risks losing the opportunity to develop new export markets but also the chance to do what we do best, which is to grow food and innovate across the food system', says Dr Hatton.

Hemp grpwing

Source: Photo 279178842 | Hemp © Tinnakorn Jorruang


Hemp remains head and shoulders above others in the plant protein sector with innovative extraction methods capable of yielding a remarkable 95% isolate. Beyond its nutritional value, hemp's delightful nutty flavour offers versatility, allowing it to be enhanced rather than concealed in various culinary creations.


Furthermore hemps holistic usability is remarkably diversified – serving as a low carbon footprint material for construction, boasting skincare benefits, and even finding application as an alternative to wool within the fashion sector.


Nonetheless, a major challenge looms over hemp, stemming directly from its image problem.

The hemp plant bears a heavy burden of stigma, a legacy rooted in its listing under New Zealand's Misuse of Drugs Act. This classification was a choice of expediency by authorities in the past. Astonishingly, the mere mention of the word "hemp" on social media platforms triggers automatic bans, creating a significant obstacle for startups aiming to cultivate a nascent industry.


In response, the New Zealand Hemp Industry Association has embarked on a mission to reshape perceptions. Recognising the pivotal role of effective marketing in the success of any endeavour, the focus on creativity becomes paramount.


Dr. Victoria Hatton underscores the need to reimagine hemp and suggests renaming the plant might be instrumental in reshaping public perception.

Hemp hearts

Photo 159206462 | Hemp Hearts © Mechelle Brooks


'The underlying goal is to disentangle hemp from its undeserved notoriety and allow it to soar unburdened into the future, playing a pivotal role in the journey toward achieving net-zero goals', says Dr Hatton.


While hemp's potential is boundless, it grapples with a tarnished image due to historical stigma. Dr. Victoria Hatton's insights highlight the imperative of strategic rebranding and innovative marketing to elevate hemp from its troubled past.


'By shedding the shackles of misconception and stigma, hemp can claim its rightful place as a transformative force in diverse industries and contribute significantly to the global push for a sustainable future', concludes Dr Hatton.


For more information about the NZ Hemp Association CLICK HERE.

For more information about FoodHQ CLICK HERE


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