Organic produce shipper rolls out hemp baby greens mixes to food service and retail companies

, Organic produce shipper rolls out hemp baby greens mixes to food service and retail companies

A California organic produce grower and shipper is introducing hemp baby greens to the produce supply chain.

Field Fresh Farms, a fourth-generation farming, cooling and shipping operation with farms in Watsonville, California, and Yuma, Arizona, is among the first companies to go ahead with offering hemp baby greens as an ingredient in leafy greens salad mixes for food service and retail companies.

The specialty, new-to-market product is certified organic through the U.S. Department of Agriculture and will be sold under the Beach Road Organics label.

The company is developing product branding and retail packaging, which will be rolled out later this year, but raw product is available for food service.

The hemp baby greens mix is touted to be “packed with nutrients,” containing omegas 3, 6 and 9, potassium and calcium, featuring “unique flavor profiles ranging from citrusy to earthy,” according to a company statement.

The company states that the mix contains “extremely minimal to no THC” and offers consumer the “exceptional health benefits of hemp.”

The legality of hemp baby greens as a crop remains unclear. While hempseed and grain foods have been deemed generally recognized as safe by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture defers to state regulators on how the plant can be produced and marketed as a leafy green, according to Robert Masson, an agriculture extension agent with the University of Arizona’s Yuma County Extension.

Indoor and outdoor hemp baby greens crops have been researched over the past year at land grant universities in Arizona and New York.

The hemp baby greens are produced by Field Fresh Farms’ parent company Dobler & Sons, in an exclusive growing partnership with Solare Ventures, a Salinas, California-based hemp research, drying and production company and the licensee of certified industrial hempseeds.

The product has been trialed and tested to ensure it meets regulatory guidelines under the USDA, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration and the state of California, including THC content, according to Dobler & Sons owner Craig Dobler.

“Since this is such a new product, we look forward to educating customers and consumers about the benefits of this hemp-based edible green,” Dobler said.

The “sustainable crop” can be grown year-round in California and will be of high-interest to chefs and consumers, he added.

Hemp baby greens offer an 18-day crop cycle from planting and a 17-day shelf life, providing leafy greens growers with a viable shoulder or supplemental crop that can be scaled to meet demand.