Ecofibre had quite a year in 2019. The Australia-based company’s Ananda Food division just revealed that its new facility in Newcastle, Australia, earned the BRC Global Standard for Food Issue 8.
With that, Ananda Food is now the only 100% Australian-grown hemp company to achieve BRCGS certification, raising the bar for the entire industry. The accreditation is one of the world's leading food safety certification standards, used by more than 25,000 certified suppliers in more than 130 countries.
Ecofibre is part of the growing global hemp and CBD business. The company specializes in the cultivation and marketing of industrial hemp plants, offering hemp flowers, seeds, and fibers. Its products include cannabinoid extracts and innovative nutraceuticals as well as hemp-derived food and textiles. Ecofibre's heritage dates back to 1997, with more than 20 years of growing and breeding experience. The company's mission is to be the global leader in hemp technologies "by providing innovative solutions that address emerging health and resource sustainability issues."
Setting the Standard
Kieren Brown, Ananda Food Managing Director, led the certification effort and credits TraceGains for making the accreditation possible. TraceGains allows Ecofibre to store and scrutinize quality control and safety data in a single system for real-time plant floor operations insight to drive continuous improvement.
"TraceGains Quality Management was a key tool for our team during the BRCGS audit and validated the importance of streamlining and digitizing our quality management processes and record-keeping," Brown said. "We went into the audit cold, with no gap audit and against version 8, and achieved an A grade. The BRCGS auditor was extremely impressed with the TraceGains system and how we use it, and for us, it made finding historical records effortless, and the traceability test easy."
Not only is Ecofibre, and its subsidiaries, a TraceGains customer, but the business has become a partner as well, with the shared goal of helping TraceGains become the leading cloud-based supplier compliance, quality management, and NPD solution provider for the hemp industry. The companies are working together to drive industry standards, so all hemp and CBD providers play by the rules.
"Food safety is our absolute priority, and I believe an engaged team that understands how critical food safety and quality is in everyday operations is invaluable in producing high-quality, safe food for our customers," Brown said. "Brands, manufacturers, and consumers trust us for our strict standards and premium ingredients. We take quality very seriously, and it's why we are the raw ingredient supplier of Australia's largest grocery chain, Woolworths."
String of Successes
The certification is the latest in a string of successes the business has enjoyed in 2020. All of the company's hemp extracts for cannabinoids and nutraceuticals are grown and manufactured in Ecofibre's new LEED platinum carbon-negative facility in Georgetown, Kentucky.
Ecofibre announced third-quarter revenue of $14.2 million, covering the first three months of 2020, marking a 42% increase over the same period the year before. And in May, the company began distributing Hemp Black facemasks in the U.S. market.
"In line with our capabilities, we've launched a high-quality washable mask featuring Hemp Black technologies," Ecofibre Chief Executive Officer and Managing Director Eric Wang said. "While masks are sold quickly at this time, fair and sustainable pricing is critical. We expect demand for protective face masks to remain for the foreseeable future. At least 90% of our capacity is made available to significant healthcare supply distributors. A small percentage of masks are available to our direct-to-consumer channel and U.S. state governments."
Check out the on-demand webinar, Quality Assurance & Compliance for Food, Hemp, and Supplement Companies, and learn how Ecofibre has been able to accomplish so much and emerge as an industry leader here.