Hemp seed – starter for 10!


A letter sent to all hemp food companies* in Aotearoa/New Zealand

* 39 Aotearoa/New Zealand based food companies promoting hemp, that we are aware of as at 19 Dec 2019

Hemp Seed Food Information for growers, importers, marketers, wholesalers and distributors.

An open letter to food companies working with hemp seed products.

18 December 2019

Welcome to the iHemp industry! We’re delighted that you’re working with hemp seed.

Carefully processed hemp seed foods, can produce high quality products which will guarantee our customers have a great experience.  And the whole iHemp industry benefits from happy customers.

What you should know

  1. Heat, light, and air adversely affect the quality of processed hemp by speeding up the oxidation process.  To help manage this:
  • protect your product from the sun as this is a source of heat and light – one ray (photon) of light can destroy or alter many molecules in an average of 30,000 reactions before it stops
  • store your product in cool, dark places (refrigerated if necessary) – especially when opened
  • use packaging which blocks all light (this means it should not be clear or have window panels) and should be airtight
  • down pack pouches and bottles should be vacuum packed under inert gas (nitrogen) to exclude oxygen
  • storage should be at 6-8% moisture
  • you should not fry with hemp seed oil and minimise exposure to heat in cooking

2) Health and Safety

  • Rancid oil (in seed and oil products) can be initially identified, be a slightly smelly, puttyish/fish aroma, a bitter taste on the pallet. Fresh oil should have a pleasant nutty taste, with a creamy mouth feel, not slimy
  • Food grade premises need to be registered with MPI
  • Testing labs, AsureQuality, Hills Labs, Cawthron, Analytica
  • At home store in an airtight container, best in the freezer, 2nd fridge and 3rd ambient

3) Raw hemp seed is a human food, a ready to eat product or as an ingredient

  • On Farm – You will need to have an MPI approved food plan, at least a National Program – NP1
  • On pack – No leaves, images or words related to cannabis, there are THC and CBD limits
  • Avoid product recalls, make sure your hemp seed food product is fit for purpose, including at the point of sale
  • If your product is off, it is unhealthy to eat. It can still be used externally, as a wood stain or even to clean your leather goods


Everyone involved in the value chain (on farm, transporters, manufacturers, etc.) must have their plan or programme registered. The MPI (Ministry for Primary Industries) have provided a high-level overview of compliance requirements “Food Safety requirements for growers, processors, transporters and manufacturers” with information about this.

For more about hemp seed food processing see:

In particular, we recommend that you read the labelling food and selling hemp seeds documents.

Get involved

It’s a very exciting time for the iHemp industry. We encourage you to make high quality products that will honour Aotearoa/New Zealand’s international reputation.

The NZHIA (New Zealand Hemp Industries Association) is committed to developing ‘best practice’ guidelines for hemp seed foods – and as an industry participant, we need you to be part of the conversation.

To have your say, email admin@nzhia.com or join the NZHIA at www.nzhia.com now.

Richard Barge, Chairman NZHIA

New Zealand Hemp Industries Association Inc

Po Box 38 392, Howick, Auckland

E: richard@hemptastic.co.nz

P: 09 533 6690

M: 021 706 690

W: www.nzhia.com

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