Archive for July, 2011

NAT Announces Partnership with Carolina Eastern to Manage Agronomics

We are pleased to announce that we have entered into an agreement with Carolina Eastern Precision Ag, of Pamplico, S.C., to provide agronomic consultation to our company and our contractors in the region.  Under the terms of the agreement, Carolina Eastern will assist us in the recruitment of growers and contractors, and advise on all cultivation related to flax that will be turned into our branded CRAiLAR fibre including seeding rates, fertilization and weed control.   We plan to contract more than 15,000 acres of flax, grown as a winter crop, in the first year.  The harvest will be the first used under a purchasing agreement with HanesBrands for CRAiLAR Flax fibre announced in March 2011. This follows an 18-month pilot program with HanesBrands and the United States Department of Agricultureʼs Agricultural ResearchService (USDA – ARS), which verified the opportunity for flax growth in the region.

By the first quarter of 2012, we anticipate we will build an integrated facility in Williamsburg County capable of producing 300,000 lbs. of CRAiLAR Flax fiber per week. S.C. is one of two flax fibre producing regions we’ve strategically chosen for the location of facilities. “This announcement is a culmination of a two-year process that took a significant amount of effort from South Carolinaʼs Department of Commerce, the USDA – ARS, Williamsburg County, and HanesBrands,” said Jason Finnis, our founder and COO. “We are confident in the experience and relationships that Carolina Eastern brings to our team,” continued Finnis, “And we anticipate that their teamʼs knowledge of the region, from both the agronomic and economic standpoints, will allow us to quickly and smoothly ramp up production demand to bring CRAiLAR Flax to market”.

The Carolina Eastern team will be led by Charles “Russell” Duncan, who spent 27 years as an agricultural extension agent in the Pee Dee area of S.C. with Clemson University.  A native of S.C., he worked in Clarendon, Florence, Marion and Williamsburg counties during his tenure, and served as administrator for the Clarendon and Williamsburg offices.  He is currently serving as chair of the International Certified Crop Adviser board, a national program of the American Society of Agronomy, which has established benchmarks for education, experience and ethics in agronomy.

“CRAiLAR Flax fibre is one of the most well-researched agronomic opportunities weʼve seen in South Carolina in my entire career,” said Duncan. “Between their partnerships with a well established end-user in HanesBrands, along with institutional research and the potential for local financing, we are excited about the opportunity we will be presenting in coming months and hope for a long-term opportunity to be established among farmers looking for winter crop alternatives.”

Farmer Field Day

A farmer field day, to be held on Wednesday, August 3 in Kingstree, S.C., is expected to attract more than 100 farmers in the region who are interested in growing an alternative cash crop to wheat in the winter months. We will be hosting this event with Carolina Eastern, and it will be supported by the USDA office in Clemson, S.C., HanesBrands and Arbor One Farm Credit.  We intend to leverage regional sustainable agricultural initiatives to fund a portion of the capital requirement to grow better established in this region.

CRAiLAR Flax Fiber Production in South Carolina

We have recently completed winter growing trials in a combined study with the USDA – ARS and HanesBrands, and have identified the varietals that will produce the best fibre yields in a growing season that traditionally can only produce winter wheat.  Dr. Jonn Foulk, Research Scientist, USDA – ARS, assisted with the research.  He has studied flax production in the region for nearly a decade, “As a winter crop, we found that South Carolina offers significant upsides to growing varietals of flax that are needed to produce CRAiLAR fiber,” said Dr. Foulk.  “The climate is ideal, the fertilization and weed control are minimal and the winter rainfall provides adequate irrigation. Additionally, production in the southeastern U.S. has the potential to enhance rural economic growth and to supply a natural domestic source of fibre to industries.”

In August 2010 we signed a ten month sublease on a facility in Kingstree, S.C., where we’ve scaled-up flax fibre production by conducting the decortication process of CRAiLAR Flax fibre.  The facility was originally established to conduct processing of flax fibre under a USDA initiative.

Companies with which we are currently engaged in purchasing or development agreements include Georgia-Pacific, Levi Strauss & Company, Cintas Corporation, Ashland Inc. and HanesBrands.

15/07/2011 at 6:20 am Leave a comment

The ‘Snicker Factor’ Aside, Hemp is Serious Business

A great article in Sunday’s edition of the Globe and Mail on the benefits of industrial hemp.

“Manitoba Harvest is now one of the world’s largest hemp food manufacturers. Its sales growth has averaged about 50 per cent every year since 1998. It currently makes 68 per cent of its sales in the United States, 30 per cent in Canada and 2 per cent in Europe and Asia.

In addition to health food stores, it is penetrating mainstream grocery chains in the United States and collaborating with Maple Leaf Foods Inc. on hemp-based research and development in Canada. Manitoba Harvest has provided product and technical support to Maple Leaf’s majority-owned subsidiary Canada Bread as it experiments with hemp bakery products, Mr. Fata said.”

To check out the full article, which includes great coverage on NAT, click here.

11/07/2011 at 6:15 am Leave a comment

Naturally Advanced Technologies Closes $13.1 Million Offering

We are pleased to announce the closing of our previously announced bought deal public offering of 3,800,000 units of the Company at a price of C$3.45 per Unit for aggregate gross proceeds of C$13,110,000 .  Each Unit is comprised of one common share and one half of one common share purchase warrant of the Company. Each Warrant entitles the holder to acquire one common share of the Company at an exercise price of C$4.50 per common share at any time before 5:00 p.m. PST on July 8, 2013.

We plan to use the net proceeds from the Offering for capacity expansion, debt repayment, working capital and other general corporate purposes.

Our CEO,Ken Barker, commented: “The support received for this Offering shows that the market, like Company management, believes that there is significant value in our “green tech” focus on providing environmentally-friendly textile, composite, biomass and pulping solutions through the cost effective process of converting industrial flax, hemp and other bast fibre crops through its patented CRAiLAR® and CRAiLEXTM technologies.  NAT brings sustainable bast fibre-based products to market, providing environmentally-friendly natural fibre alternatives for a broad range of existing and emerging product applications, with equivalent or superior performance characteristics to cotton, wood or fossil-fuel based competitors.”

08/07/2011 at 6:02 am Leave a comment

The Flax Man

Be sure to check out our coverage in this month’s issue of Portland Monthly.

FLAX CLOTH might evoke visions of a hand-made Saturday Market tunic. But Ken Barker, former head of Adidas’ Portland-based apparel division, sees a large-scale opportunity in the flax-based textile fibers created by Naturally Advanced Technologies (NAT): a chance to save the world from cotton.

“Cotton is just about the most destructive crop on earth,” the 55-year-old, South Africa–born Barker says. “At Adidas, we looked at every sustainable fiber you can think of. Coconut. Banana. Seaweed. I thought, ‘This is the Holy Grail.’”

Click here to get the full story.

04/07/2011 at 7:20 am 2 comments


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