Toronto, Ontario — Wednesday evening, Earth Day Canada (EDC) held its annual gala at the Drake Hotel in Toronto. As part of the festivities, EDC presented their annual awards for outstanding commitment to the environment — the Earth Day Canada Hometown Heroes Awards. This year also marks the first year EDC is recognizing a Hometown Hero from the Small Business community. The inaugural Hometown Hero Small Business Award Winner is Oilseed Works Inc., of Dalston Ontario. Greg Herriott, part owner of Oilseed Works comments, “it is an absolute thrill and honour to receive this award. Many of our mentors over the years have been on this podium, and to now be accepting this recognition is fantastic.”
Oilseed Works Inc. (OSW) won the award over entries from all parts of Canada. Quite an accomplishment for a family owned, farm based company from rural Canada. There was no ambiguity with Hometown Hero National Judges. Their decision to award OSW was unanimous.
OSW was the ultimate winner for many reasons. With its brand name, Hempola, OSW introduced Canada to hemp foods in 1995. In 1999 they invented hempseed flour as well as launch the world’s first Omega 3 salad dressings. Converting productive agricultural acreage to non-GMO (genetically modified) crops, namely: hemp, flax and sunflower, is the company’s long term mission.
In 2005 the company developed and is currently using a close-looped system of producing both food and biofuel from their harvests. It’s called Flour Power. Their specialty crops are harvested, then oil is pressed from the seeds and the resulting seed meal is milled into flour for food. Part of the oil recovered from flour processing is converted to biodiesel which is used on the farm and in their business to power tractors, fuel trucks and heat buildings. Biodiesel is carbon-neutral. This means it is very clean to burn, reducing greenhouse gassing for instance and since it is carbon neutral, it has no impact on climate change.
In his acceptance speech, Mr. Herriott stated, “we see the near future where food companies work with farmers to acquire safe and healthy flour ingredients for their products and at the same time, from the same harvest, receive clean biofuel for their delivery trucks.” Their longer term vision sees the day when impoverished areas around the world will use the Flour Power system to grow their own nutritious crops to feed their people and also fuel their farms and villages. Herriott presented to the audience an example where 1,000 acres of hemp will supply 300 tons of flour and 120,000 litres of oil per harvest. The 300 tons of flour, based on a 2,000 calorie per day diet (as recommended by Health Canada) will feed 1,920 people for a year. The biofuel requirement to farm the next 1,000 acres is only 15,000 litres, therefore leaving a surplus of 105,000 litres of oil for food or fuel from the first harvest. “This is a healthy sustainable agricultural model easily employed around the world,” notes Mr. Herriott.
For more information, contact:
Greg Herriott, General Manager
Oilseed Works, Inc