Over six months of hard work came together in just one week! Between April 20th and 24th, The XY Hemp Corporation received it’s industrial hemp license from Health Canada, signed a production agreement with Farmer Direct Co-op and purchased Finola seeds.
Licensing industrial hemp farming is done by the Office of Controlled Substances at Health Canada. The Industrial Hemp Regulations are an annex to the Controlled Drugs and Substances Act. Producers, distributors, and processors must apply to Health Canada to secure a license to work with hemp. The XY Hemp Corporation submitted the application on January 28th. This application includes a detailed map of our location, consent for criminal records check for the directors of the corporation, signed consent of our landlords at Breadroot Farms, and our chosen seed variety. Our license to produce, distribute, export and store hemp arrived on Monday, April 20th, 2015!
The arrival of our license allowed us to move forward with a production contract to secure a buyer for our harvest at the end of the season. We reviewed five contracts from different buyers before deciding to accept one with Farmer Direct Co-op. We are so grateful for the many offers we received to buy our seeds. Growing organic hemp has so many benefits, in this case it provided us with a much higher price for our final product than conventional and the product was in demand from many seed buyers.
During this process we received excellent service from Clarence at Manitoba Harvest. He was extremely knowledgeable and helpful. The North American Hemp and Grain Co. also provided helpful information on seed suppliers. Although we did no pursue a production agreement with Hemp Oil Canada, we were able to purchase our Finola seeds from them and are happy to get to work with them on this venture.
We chose to sign a production contract with Farmer Direct Co-op (FDC) for several reasons. Our farming partners, Al and Hélène of Breadroot Farms, are members of this small organic co-operative. FDC is 100% farmer owned, 100% organic, and 100% fairDeal. The fairDeal certification means that farmers receive premium prices for fairDeal organic products and ensures farm workers receive living wages and safe working conditions. Certified organic supports sustainable agriculture by promoting soil fertility, healthy food, and healthy people. We are very happy to be supporting this small co-operative with such strong corporate social responsibility commitments.
Once our production contract was accepted by FDC on Thursday, April 23rd, we could proceed with the purchase and pick up of Finola seeds. This was done on Friday, April 24th, which means everything is in order for seeding in late May.
The weather is warming up in Saskatchewan, and the adorable cows at Breadroot farms are starting to calve. As of yesterday, April 28th, there were three new calves out in the pasture. During our visit from May 24th to 30th, C will be operating machinery with Al, tilling and seeding our crop, while I plant gardens with Hélène and visit with the cattle. We also plan to drive up to see our hemp-farming mentor, Larry Marshall, to tour his much larger organic operations.
After so many phone calls, e-mails, applications and contracts over many months, things are falling into place. We are very excited to be moving into a more tangible phase of our business, and to see our efforts truly grow. The summer will be similarly uncertain, as we put our faith into the climate in Eastern Central Saskatchewan. With the help of the team we have built around us, I truly believe that everything will come together.