An Estonian company has developed a variety of EU-certified hemp that expresses less than 0.03% THC in the field, giving farmers a growing option that is sure to stay within the European limit of 0.20%.
The new variety, called Estica, was developed by the Estonian Organic Protein Foundation (EOPC), a leading European company in the production of hemp seed-based food products, in cooperation with Dutch breeder Globe Seeds BV.
“We wanted to create a variety with a larger seed size, suitable for growing in our region,” said Ardi Uja, CEO of EOPC, noting that the Baltic region is limited to cannabis species that mature in 110 days.
4 years of testing
Oja said field tests over the past four years in Estonia, the Netherlands and Hungary have shown that Esteca can produce 1.4-1.6 tons of grain per hectare, with an average seed size of 4 mm in diameter, and a very low THC level in the seeds themselves of 0.4 – 0.8 mg / kg.
Oja sees initial markets for Estica in Europe because the variety is well below the EU’s restricted guideline values for THC, and food producers who use Estica for the seed or oil said they don’t have to worry about THC levels anymore.
The new variety has been registered for European Union Catalog of Plant Varieties in December 2021; This means that farmers who grow Estica can be eligible for direct EU agricultural subsidies.
In addition to being now available in the commercial planting seed market, Estica will play a key role in EOPC’s fast-growing food business, Uga said. The company will plant this variety on approximately 1,500 hectares this year to process it into dehulled seeds and a range of protein powder and oil products that make up the main EOPC product lines.
More than just noise
“Demand is growing year by year, and it is good to see that consumers are more and more acknowledging the benefits of hemp products. It shows that hemp has arrived as a staple in consumers’ diets.” The growth shows that the sector has built a solid foundation, and hemp seed food is not just advertising. short term.”
EOPC is one of the largest producers of organic hemp in Europe, boasting one of the largest dehulling plants on the continent producing products for wholesale and white label sales. All of the company’s food products are derived from the industrial hemp plant locally grown in Estonia and processed according to ISO 22000, organic label and HACCP standards.
EOPC supplies domestic business customers and ships to more than 20 countries around the world, with major markets in Scandinavia, South Korea, the Netherlands and Germany.