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Hemp Trade Association Booth at Expo East a Strong Draw for Media and Trade

Regina, Saskatchewan, Canada - September 16th, 2003 - An alliance of Canadian and American hemp food companies made a strong impression at the recent Natural Products Expo (NPE) held September 4th-7th in Washington DC.

The Hemp Trade Association's booth was a joint effort by the Hemp Industries Association (HIA) and the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance (CHTA). Participating companies included CHTA members Ruth's Hemp Foods (ON), Hemp Oil Canada (MB), Manitoba Harvest (MB), Canolio (QC), Nutiva (CA), Alpsnack/Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps (CA), and HIA member Hempzels (PA).

The hemp booth was very busy throughout the NPE weekend: Over 2 dozen food journalists visited the booth for interviews. US trade and consumer media snapped up 50 press kits, 250 trade leads were registered, and 600 hemp product sample bags were given out. CHTA member Nutiva capped the weekend by capturing a Best New Product Award in the supplements category.

The booth at NPE was the first activity undertaken by the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance as part of a year-long marketing effort to help the Canadian hemp sector expand the market access for hemp foods.

"Our experience at NPE shows that while there is some marketplace knowledge of hemp foods, there is still quite a lot of education that needs to be undertaken on their health benefits, taste, and flexibility," says Arthur Hanks, CHTA Executive Director. "Many buyers seem to know a little about hemp, but they don't know the details. They are not sure why consumers would want to eat it." Hemp seed foods are attracting nutritional interest as they are high in digestible protein and are also rich sources of omega-3 and omega-6 Essential Fatty Acids.

"The CHTA's plan for 2003-2004 is to help improve the profile of hemp foods by emphasizing their benefits," says Hanks. "We are doing this through trade show appearances in both the United States and in Canada, vigorous outreach to media, and by establishing a web presence."

The nonprofit Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance/ Alliance Commerciale Canadienne du Chanvre (CHTA/ACCC) was formed in 2003. Composed of farmers, processors, marketers, and researchers the new CHTA has members drawn from across the county and internationally. Membership is open to all companies active in the Canadian hemp seed and fibre sector.

The CHTA will be holding its first Annual General Meeting (AGM) in Toronto on October 17th, 2003, at the Holiday Inn, 370 King Street West, corresponding with the Canadian Health Food Show that weekend. The CHTA meeting will be held between 6-9 pm; the itinerary will consist of supper followed by a business meeting and features the election of the CHTA Board of Directors. The following day the CHTA booth at the Canadian Health Food Show will display member's products and will also distribute health and business information on hemp in Canada.

The CHTA's projects for 2003-2004 have been made possible with funding from Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada's (AAFC) Canadian Adaptation and Rural Development (CARD) fund, the Canadian Agriculture and Food International (CAFI) program, and industry sources.

For membership inquiries, AGM registration, and other information about CHTA/ACCC please contact:

Arthur Hanks
Executive Director, CHTA
Tel: (306) 757-HEMP (4367), Fax: (306) 757-4365
Email: arthur@hemptrade.ca
Web: http://www.hemptrade.ca

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