As one might expect, the food and agriculture industry has been selected as one of the sixteen essential industries allowed to continue operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, and that includes hemp farmers.
Now Future Farm Technologies (FFT.C) is developing a two-tier approach to address market concerns during COVID-19, and provide options for hemp farmers so they can plan for their 2020 season.
The company started by developing relationships with top breeders to deliver feminized seeds of top cultivars should they desire. And second, Future Farm announced relief-based pricing for its high CBD producing Cherry Wine hemp seeds.
Here’s how this works:
When farmers purchase 1,000 regular (and by regular, we mean non feminized) seeds for $50,00, Future Farm will throw in an extra 2,000 seeds. This translates to rates well below the present market price for regular hemp seeds.
“It was important for us to get seeds to people who really need them but might not be able to afford the more sought after feminized seeds. We believe that this new program will help ease the financial burden of buying seeds and allow growers to buy their seeds early enough to still participate in this unique 2020 growing season,” says Bill Gildea, Future Farm’s CEO.
The company developed this program to make quality growing accessible to more farmers. After culling any male plants, farmers can identify the absolute best genetics in the remaining female plants. Defined, of course, by female plants rich in terpenes and colour, as is often found in Cherry Wine cultivar.
White Sand hemp
Despite the COVID-19 downturn, business is still going strong at Future Farm’s White Sand nursery greenhouse business in Apopka, Florida. They’re operating at full capacity to meet the increased demand for its ornamental plants, which sell in large retail stores throughout North America. White Sand’s largest customers report strong sales at big-box garden centers, meaning White Stand can ship more than 80,000 plants per week to the customer. Future Farm anticipates higher numbers of plants to be shipped in the coming weeks, when peak season goes into full swing.
Future Farm’s core strategy remains becoming a leading supplier of pharma-grade health and wellness products, including those made from hemp, but for right now, their key focus is to stay on their feet during the pandemic. White Sand has benefited from the strong demand for its legacy ornamental plant business during the pandemic, and the demand for food products.
“We plan to add production of leafy greens and vine crops to White Sand’s product line in order to meet the increased demand for fresh, locally produced food, and to ensure its continued designation as an essential business under COVID-19 restrictions,” explains Mr. Stanley. “Revamping the company’s website is essential in order to support these efforts and allows us to take advantage of the recent huge increase in online sales of local fresh produce and other food products,” said Craig Stanley, Future Farm’s acting CFO and board member.
The challenges posed by COVID-19 have also produced demand for health and wellness products, including for example, hand sanitizer. The company is looking to see what it can do on that front as well.
The company has also announced the grant of incentive stock options to certain directors, officers, employees and consultants to acquire a total of 5,444,500 common shares of the Company at an exercise price of CAD$0.05 per share. Under the terms of the Company’s Stock Option Plan, the options expire five years from the date of grant and vest immediately.