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Press Release: California-Based Nutiva Hemp Foods Supports State Hemp Farm Bill

With Sales Surging, Nutiva Would Prefer To Buy Hemp From California Farmers Vs. Importing From Canada

February 15, 2005 – Sebastopol, California – Nutiva founder and CEO John W Roulac will join California business leaders, farmers, and legislators in offering support for a new industrial hemp farming bill at a press conference to be held on February 23 at 9:00am in the State Capitol, room 1190. The press conference will be hosted by Assemblyman Mark Leno, sponsor of the legislation, and will outline how passage of the bill would help farmers and California’s economy. A display of Nutiva’s nutritious hemp foods and other hemp products will be available for legislators and guests.

WHO: Assemblyman Mark Leno, 13th District, (San Francisco)
Candi Penn, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association
David Bronner, President of Dr. Bronner’s Magic Soaps (Escondido)
John Roulac, President of Nutiva (Sebastopol-based Hemp Food Brand)
Representatives from Whole Foods Market
Vanessa Bogenholm, VB Farms, Chair of California Certified Organic Farmers (CCOF)
Other legislators and speakers to be announced
WHAT: Press Conference on New Industrial Hemp Legislation
WHEN: Wednesday, February 23, 2005 at 9:00am
WHERE: California State Capitol, Room 1190, Sacramento, California

“We are contracting for several thousand acres of organic hemp from Canadian farmers in 2005. If we can sell hemp foods in California, why can’t our states’ farmers grow this profitable crop?” commented Nutiva founder and CEO John W. Roulac.

“We hope that our Governor, who was born in a country where hemp farming is legal, will sign legislation that will benefit California’s economy and the environment,” says Candi Penn, Executive Director of the Hemp Industries Association. With many jobs leaving the state, this is a great opportunity to help jump-start a fast growing sector of the eight billion dollar a year organic food industry. Like solar panels and hybrid vehicles, hemp is becoming fashionable with consumers voting with their pocket books for a healthier, more sustainable lifestyle.

“We project Nutiva sales of over two million for 2005,” Roulac said, adding “We are planning to build California’s first organic hemp seed processing facility in the San Joaquin Valley when the laws change.” Based on the firm’s rapid 60% growth rate, it is projected that well over 10,000 hemp acres will need to be contracted in 2008. This represents millions of dollars in income for California farmers and businesses as well as up to 100 new jobs in the coming decade.

Nutiva offers nutritious USDA certified-organic hemp food bars, hemp protein powder, hemp oil, and hempseed nationwide through 2,500 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats.

The California market research firm SPINS released data showing that Nutiva had captured 17 percent of total hemp food sales as of August 4, 2004, up from 10 percent one year earlier. Nutiva is the number-two selling hemp food brand, after French Meadow Bakery’s hemp bread. A contributing factor in the recent sales surge is Nutiva’s Organic Hemp Protein Powder, selected as the “Best New Supplement Product” at the 2003 Natural Products Expo show.

John W Roulac began promoting the health and ecological benefits of hemp more than a decade ago, and has written three leading books on the subject. “In 1998, I concluded that the only way American farmers could grow hemp would be to have the market demand for hemp products skyrocket. The organic hemp food industry is poised for dramatic growth, and the possibility of a new income crop for farmers is a tangible legislative reality,” says Roulac.

In 2004, the Hemp Industries Association (along with Nutiva, Dr Bronner’s, & Natures Path) won the three-year battle against the Drug Enforcement Agency (DEA) in their efforts to classify hemp food and oil products as a controlled substance. This act could be compared to declaring the poppy seed illegal. Hemp seed is rich in Omega-3, gamma linoleic acid (GLA), and protein, and has superior nutritional and flavor qualities compared to soy and flax. If industry projections prove correct, hemp will gain increasing market shares of protein powders, nutritional oils, salad dressings, non-dairy ice creams, snack bars, cookies, breads, and cereals. If the new hemp bill becomes law, farmers would be able to apply for state licenses to grow hemp. The law would be similar to regulations on industrial hemp in other countries such as Canada and the European Union.

Nutiva Nourishes People and Planet

Nutiva is dedicated to a healthy and sustainable world for all, demonstrating its mission to nourish people and planet by using the healthiest organic ingredients available, enriching the soil, and supporting worthy causes by donating 1 percent of sales to groups that promote sustainable agriculture. Founded in 1999, Nutiva offers nutritious organic hemp and flax food bars, hemp protein powder, hemp oil, shelled hemp seed, and extra-virgin organic coconut oil nationwide through more than 2,500 natural food retailers, including Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats.

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