Hemp is back in Chile, and the market is ready for investment
INTERVIEW: Barbara Galletti is co-founder and CEO of Pronatura Ltda., and co-creator of Nutranabis, the first Chilean brand exclusively dedicated to the re-introduction and commercialization of organic hemp products in Chile. Galletti’s work has been crucial in opening Chile’s hemp market by regularizing the process for import and sales of hemp products. Galletti will be a speaker at the Latin American and Caribbean Hemp Summit, Montevideo, Uruguay Nov 8-9, 2019.
Hemp Today: How has the hemp industry developed in Chile to this point?
Barbara Galletti: It has not been easy. There was no hemp market in the country. Our company also had to deal with a lot of misinformed authorities who did not understood the purpose of our business. It took our company more than two years and the work of a legal team to successfully open the way for the import and commercialization of hemp products to Chile. Since then the national hemp food market is steadily increasing. The time is just right for investment opportunities that boost the market to the next level.
Chile was one of the major hemp producers worldwide before the global ban on cannabis. We are thrilled to have created the first Chilean brand exclusively oriented to nutritional hemp products in the country. Hemp is back in Chile and it is here to stay and to grow.
HT: In terms of reaching the consumer market, what are your goals?
BG: Our company wants to offer the public all the nutritional and health benefits of this incredible superfood. Nutranabis sells hulled hemp nuts, protein powder and flour in different formats. We supply restaurants, caterers and other food companies as well as an increasing number of health stores. We are also developing a line of manufactured food products and we are seeking to expand our market to include full spectrum CBD and cosmetics. We look forward to working in partnership with other companies and investors to boost local hemp farming, create a national hemp association, increase international trade and reposition Chile as a major hemp producer.
HT: What can hemp do to help overcome poverty in Latin America?
BG: It seems difficult to reduce the level of poverty in our region with one business alone. However, the hemp industry has the potential to play a major part to overcome this situation. The organic hemp industry is in line with sustainable business principles, providing economic, social and environmental benefits. Companies around the world should focus on making positive changes to alleviate social and environmental challenges by including sustainability, circular economy, organic, fair trade and other concepts to their business.
These principles are essential not only to reduce poverty levels but also to promote social justice and a healthier planet. The hemp industry fits perfectly in this new business model. Moreover, the versatility of hemp and technological developments will make significant contributions to boost economies. The hemp industry needs more support from investors and governmental institutions, as well as hemp development policies to achieve these goals.
HT: How did you end up working in the hemp business?
BG: After studying the market, looking for a business opportunity that would have a meaning beyond economic profits, hemp became the perfect alternative. It is a business that is not only profitable but has incredible growth potential.
It is also sustainability oriented and can greatly contribute to solving current social and environmental challenges. It is a growing and sustainable industry almost nonexistent in Chile just a few years ago. So in 2014, my partner and I founded Pronatura with the aim to reopen the hemp market in Chile, starting with hemp food products.