Updated: Mar 26, 2022
Profiles of today's local/global industry innovators and leaders. Natural Fibre Technologies (NFT) Natural Fibre Technologies has solved the critical issues stunting the growth of the global commercial hemp industry, while also creating new value at the source of production for waste biomaterials in agriculture, forestry, and at your local landfill.
NFT's technology is born out of 35 years of experience and research, starting in the forestry industry. Today, NFT has its sights set on the burgeoning global commercial hemp market for hemp fiber and hurd, estimated at 20 billion dollars USD per year. The commercial hemp market in The United States was estimated in 2021 at 824 million dollars. NFT's technology has the potential to turn this into a multi-billion-dollar market in the US alone. NFT is currently the leading developer of local, sustainable biocomposites for construction and furniture industries, the automotive industry, and consumer goods markets. When scaled to potential over the next three years, NFT will set the global standard for sustainable biocomposites, including the multi-billion-dollar commercial hemp market. The issues stunting the growth of commercial hemp production and productization at volume are the lack of primary processing facilities close to the source of production, alongside the cost to build stationary decortication and processing facilities. From a study by New Frontier Data called The Three Waves of Hemp Fibre Production published July 27, 2020, the author points to this lack, and the cost of building decortication/processing facilities: "Lack of processing facilities. ...there are currently no more than 10 operational hemp fiber decortication facilities in North America. The barriers to erecting a fiber processing facility are significant, with decortication machines alone costing between $900,000-$5 million [USD]. Decortication is not the only step in the fiber processing value chain, however. Once decorticated, hurd must be cleaned and sorted, while fiber requires extensive wet processing capabilities which can cost tens of millions of dollars to install. Furthermore, all of that assumes a sufficient supply of raw hemp to sustain a processing facility. Even a small facility capable of processing 1.5 tons an hour, for example, would annually require no less than 6 million lbs. of stalks to be profitable. ...due to the logistical difficulty of transporting raw hemp stalks, a fiber processor can only afford to use hemp grown within 75-100 miles of their decortication facility." Natural Fibre Technologies has conquered these critical barriers to industry growth by manufacturing a revolutionary low-cost mobile decorticator that performs the two-step process in one machine. This allows decortication and processing to raw fiber and hurd right at the farm gate, at a fraction of the cost noted by New Frontier Data. With the barrier of primary processing infrastructure removed, at a low cost, NFT will transform an entire global industry, and move the world away from consuming slow-growth and non-renewable resources. NFT creates an entirely new market dynamic for producers: maximum yield and value from crops; entry into a new ecosystem of productization and marketability at local levels; and connection to world-wide commercial and consumer demand for new, environmentally-friendly biomaterials and biocomposites. This supply-side value-chain hasn’t existed before now.
The world is transitioning away from the last 120 years of high-energy utilizing, carbon generating, polluting technologies. With the increasing operationalization of ESG expectations tied to budgets and investments, the world’s largest industries are using more biomaterial and biocomposites than ever, a trend that will continue to grow. The re-emergence of a modern commercial hemp industry, whose raw product sequesters carbon, is easy to plant, and grows fast, is the top-of-mind replacement for traditional products such as wood, plastic and cement.
With the first of its kind commercial hemp processing plant in Alberta, NFT has current relationships with producers and up-chain manufacturers and retailers. NFT is the first vertically integrated company to actively process agricultural fibre in Canada, across a value chain from bulk biofibre to manufactured, sustainable biocomposites.
Natural Fibre Technologies highlights: NFT holds as many as 12 patent-ready technologies.
NFT is differentiated by its scientific capital and experience.
NFT actively sells a range of products today, and has relationships with primary producers, industrial users, retail suppliers, and buyers of new NFT technologies. NFT is actively researching and creating
new technologies for hemp fiber
packaging and hemp fiber plastics.