Alberta company finds new uses and markets for hemp

Drayton Valley (Rural Roots Canada) – An Alberta company is finding great success using parts of the hemp plant that are usually considered waste.

BioComposites Group owns the largest hemp processing plant in North America, based in Drayton Valley, Alberta.

They make products from the leftover waste from the stock of the hemp plant.

Perko says they make our erosion control, weed suppressant, and tree square products.

“We’ll take predicated hemp fiber, which is taken off the hemp stock, and we process it into these products and many others actually,” says Vice President Larry Perko.

He says the reason they do this is because they saw value in the parts of the crop that are usually considered waste.

“There’s not a lot of income being generated for farmers. They grow this crop for the top six inches. Usually, when it is a seed, they’ll cut the seed off, and the rest is waste.  Some of it bale it, some of it burn it, some of it just gets tilled under.”

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This resulted in the company finding some great success.

“What we are trying to do is just take the rest of that crop and create a valued added product that we can sell throughout Canada, the United States, and all over the world.”

Perko says they are still not well-known but have great conversations every time they talk to farmers.

“They’re excited to hear about it, especially when you get into the conversation about the carbon that gets sequestered when it is grown, as well as some of the environmental benefits of the company.

“Basically that it’s an Alberta company that’s trying to find solutions that deal with everything from farm income to climate change that is based right here in Alberta.”

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He says the company has been around for about 8-years.

“What we really found with the sweet spot we started doing the erosion control, that’s the tree squares and our newest product line growth media. So if you have a greenhouse if you are growing anything from lettuce to cucumbers, to even cannabis we’re selling soil replacement products which is compostable.”

He says there are no added chemicals, no plastics in it, and at the end of the day, it’s kind of a brand new product for an industry that’s been around forever.”

Perko says they have built the biggest hemp processing facility in North America in Alberta, but they need more support from consumers and government.

BioComposites Group was at the Agricultural Service Board’s Annual General Meeting in January in Banff.