Posts tagged ‘Flax Farming’

CRAiLAR Flax Fiber Producers Contract Willamette Valley Advisor

Ralph Fisher, Veteran Ag Expert, to Work With NAT

Portland, Ore. – February 21, 2012 – Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT) (OTCBB: NADVF) (TSXV: NAT), which produces and markets CRAiLAR(r), a natural fiber made from flax and other bast fibers, announced today it has secured the services of Ralph Fisher, located in Salem, Ore., as a regional agronomic advisor to the company. In this capacity, Fisher will work with NAT to help contract planted acres of flax in Oregon. He will also work closely with NAT and Oregon State University (OSU) to evaluate strains, growth cycles and techniques that ensure the greatest yields in the region. Fisher, who obtained his B.S. in Crop Science from OSU in 1978, begins his work with the company immediately, with a focus on the 2012 and 2013 growing seasons.  To read the full story click here.

22/02/2012 at 11:37 am Leave a comment

NAT, Tuscarora Team To Develop CRAiLAR® Flax Blends For New Application

Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc. (NAT), Vancouver, Canada, has granted a non-exclusive, non-transferable license to Mt. Pleasant, N.C.-based Tuscarora Yarns Inc., under which Tuscarora will design and manufacture specialty yarns containing blends of NAT’s CRAiLAR® Flax fiber with cotton or other fibers. The yarns are being developed for sale and distribution to third-party Crailar licensees. NAT expects the partnership will open avenues for the fiber’s use in heretofore-unexplored apparel and home furnishings sectors.

“Tuscarora is one of the most innovative yarn spinners in the world, and has the ability to prepare us for entry into several unexplored categories such as couture fashion, sports performance, extreme weather gear, and certain sectors of home furnishings,” said NAT CEO Ken Barker. “This agreement will seek to push the applications of CRAiLAR beyond our first phase of cotton blending and establish new market sectors for this unique and sustainable natural fiber.”

Crailar technology comprises an enzymatic process that converts bast fibers such as hemp, flax, jute and kenaf into materials that are as soft as cotton but more durable and eco-friendly, according to NAT. These bast fibers can be blended with cotton and other fibers; and can be processed using existing spinning, weaving, knitting or other fabric-forming processes. Applications range from various apparel and home textiles products to industrial textiles.  To read the full story please click here.

01/02/2012 at 3:16 pm Leave a comment

NAT Attends 71st Annual Oregon Seed Growers’ Convention

Naturally Advanced Technologies headed to Salem, Oregon this Monday and Tuesday to attend the 71st Annual Oregon Seed Growers’ Convention.  NAT CEO Ken Barker was one of the guest speakers on Monday, where he introduced CRAiLAR and its promising technology, focusing on the company’s impressive list of partnering companies like Hanes, Georgia-Pacific, Levi’s, and Target.   By Tuesday morning, a steady flow of growers intently listened as Jay Nalbach, CMO and Ryan Leverenz, Head of Global PR, fielded questions and introduced the CRAiLAR process.

As demand grows from partner companies, supply remains a high priority for NAT.  The Willamette Valley’s history of flax farming, which was a critical industry in the area during the 1930’s to 1950’s, makes it a prime candidate region.  NAT will continue to engage growers in the area and work to diligently answer both agronomic and economic questions with a goal to plant significant acreage in the area by Q2 2012.  The company is planning its next grower information event for January, where it will provide a thorough Q&A for interested growers.  More than 50 farms have expressed interest since the company made its first foray into the region in late-September.

09/12/2011 at 1:54 pm Leave a comment

The Oregonian; NAT officials say their fiber could change apparel production

Ken Barker hands over a piece of cardboard with fabric swatches attached.

Barker is delivering his feel test, challenging his subject to detect the difference between cotton-only pieces and those with a combination of cotton and “Crailar,” a fiber derived from flax stalks.

Barker, chief executive of Naturally Advanced Technologies Inc., the makers of Crailar, has touted the fiber’s benefits to provide protection against volatile cotton prices. Crailer also has a much smaller ecological footprint than cotton’s, his company’s research shows.

And Oregon — from the company’s Lake Oswego-based managers to Willamette Valley farmers — are expected to play a key role in growing Crailar from seedling concept to harvested game-changer.

Barker has convinced the likes of Target Corp., Levi Strauss & Co., HanesBrands and Carhartt that Crailar could make a difference in production of fabrics and apparel.

Crailar has partnered with those companies and others to produce or test Crailar for a variety of products. Naturally Advanced announced Thursday that Target has entered a development and supply agreement to evaluate Crailar in the retailer’s domestic textiles category such as table linens, window treatments and towels.  To read the full story click here.

02/12/2011 at 10:48 am Leave a comment

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

CRAiLAR Flax Fields

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Have a glimpse of what we’re up to South Carolina these days.  Planted just a few months ago, we now have 300+ acres of flax growing close by our facility.  We are fortunate to have flax fibre harvested from previous seasons available in our warehouse, as it’s allowed us to begin production immediately.  We are moving full speed ahead in developing the capacity to rapidly increase production thereafter to meet the demands of our development partners and to respond to increasing interest from new customers in the denim, workwear, home furnishings and knitwear markets.

29/04/2011 at 11:50 am Leave a comment

NAT Signs 10 Year CRAiLAR Fibre Supply Agreement with Hanesbrands Inc.

Today, we are pleased to announce the signing of a ten-year CRAiLAR® Fibre supply agreement with Hanesbrands Inc. that will commercialize our proprietary fibres.  This represents our initial commercialization agreement for CRAiLAR® and establishes the foundation for continued adoption of its proprietary flax-based fibre.

Our all-natural CRAiLAR® process is the first to remove the binding agents from flax that contribute to its stiff texture by bathing it in a proprietary enzyme wash.  The result is a textile fibre that merges the strength and durability of flax with the most desirable attributes of cotton.  Yarns made from CRAiLAR® fibres can be used in knit, woven or non-woven fabrics alone, or blended with other natural fibers used to manufacture apparel products similar to those marketed by Hanesbrands, a leading basic apparel company based in Winston-Salem, N.C.

“This agreement is a strong validation of our CRAiLAR® technology and a demonstration of its ability to perform within the Hanesbrands family,” said Ken Barker, CEO of NAT.  “The Company has been working toward this agreement since the collaborative partnership with Hanesbrands began in August 2009, and we expect to begin shipping to our full existing capacity beginning next month.  Hanesbrands has been an invaluable partner to our proof of concept and we look forward to expanding our relationship with them and others as we move forward.”

CRAiLAR® Flax is soft like cotton, has a similar color, possesses similar performance traitsand is comfortable to wear year-round.  CRAiLAR® Flax and cotton look the same, fit the same and wash the same.  Yet CRAiLAR® Flax fibres shrink less than cotton fibres, wick moisture better, and have increased dye uptake, meaning they require fewer chemicals to achieve the same depth of colour.

The agreement is the culmination of a multiphase joint development agreement announced in August 2009 with the intent to commercialize CRAiLAR®.  Hanesbrands made its first purchase of 10,000 lbs of CRAiLAR® in the first quarter of 2010 and, after successful spinning trials, announced a final evaluation phase in Q2 2010.  In December 2010, the companies announced additional product testing that called for Hanesbrands to purchase up to $375,000 of CRAiLAR® Flax fibre between December 1, 2010 and early 2011.

18/03/2011 at 4:30 am Leave a comment

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