Legalising-hemp-for-food-would-realise-big-benefits-for-Australia_strict_xxlIndustrial hemp is truly a plant for the ambitions of the 21st century. A fast growing crop, it has one of the highest rates of CO2 absorption. It has highly versatile uses for its fibre, hurd (the woody core of the stem), leaves and seeds. It has comparatively low nutrient and water requirements. And it has excellent capability as a rotational crop in tropical and subtropical regions, enabling year-round production alongside traditional food crops.

In legal terms, industrial hemp is a plant of the Cannabis genus with a low level of the psychotropic drug THC. The required level of THC varies by legal jurisdiction, and can be as low as 0.3%. AFI uses Cannabis sativa breeding lines for its industrial hemp, with each variety having exceptionally low levels of THC. AFI has the most varieties registered with Australian Plant Breeders Rights (PBR), with 6 registered varieties and 1 pending.


Breed THC %
Bundy Gem 0.04
Fibre Gem 0.05
Calavos 0.11
Tegege 0.2
Farnsfield 0.1
Kepnock 0.10
Ruby 0.15

Recognising the wide variety of uses for hemp, AFI’s breeding program has produced hemp plants optimised for application. These include easy decortication (separation of the fibre from hurd) to enable lower cost and higher quality processing, larger size seeds for efficiency in food production, and specialised breeds for medicinal uses. A few examples of AFI proprietary breeds are shown below.

Bundy Gem Dual purpose food seed and fibre, easy decortication
Kepnock High quality food seed, large seed size
Ruby Dual purpose food seed and fibre, very good fatty acid profile, good fibre quality and quantity
Calavos High quality food seed, very good fatty acid profile
Fibre Gem High quality fibre, very easy decortication
Tegege High quality food seed, large seed size
Farnsfield Good fibre quality, late flowering variety

As new and valuable uses for hemp continue to be found, AFI will continue to develop new hemp breeds that give a leading edge in productivity, product performance and profitability.