Sask-based Functional Food Company Promoting Food Security

Asia’s issues with food security, food production, and individuals’ nutritional needs led Kevin Friesen, CEO of Fire+Ice Functional Foods to build businesses in the hemp production and packaged foods industry.

CEO of Fire+Ice Functional Foods, Kevin Friesen, grew up on a mixed farm in Saskatchewan and always had an interest in growing and producing food. After graduating with an Ag Degree from the U of S, Kevin travel to and lived in Asia for over 5 years. There he witnessed issues with food security, food production, and that for many people, simply meeting their basic human nutritional needs is a struggle. It was then that Kevin became particularly interested in hemp as a food ingredient prior the legalization of the plant in Canada (1998).

Since returning to Canada in 1999, Kevin has been involved in the hemp food industry as a pedigree seed grower, managing hemp seed and hemp grain production programs for a hemp food ingredient manufacturer, and later becoming a founding partner in hemp plant breeding and hemp ingredient manufacturing companies.

Fire+Ice Functional Foods promotes the full utilization of nutrient-dense, functional foods for human health and nutrition. Their focus is plant-based food ingredients like protein powders, flours and Omega 3 & 6 rich oils derived from hemp, fababean, and flax. They promote the consumption of foods that are not only nutritionally sound but also provide functional health benefits for active and healthy lifestyles. In addition, plant-based foods have the added benefit of a significantly reduced eco-footprint to grow and produce, with fababean having the lowest carbon footprint of any protein source on the planet.

Fire+Ice’s target export markets are Asia, the Mediterranean and Scandinavia. “After living in Asia for five years, I am comfortable doing business there,” remarks Friesen. “I have experienced great success, particularly in the South Korean market.

“I have been attending STEP trade missions for several years. I appreciate the time STEP puts into introducing us to qualified buyers.”

In the latest edition of Global Ventures (pg. 12), Friesen also highlights that collaborating with STEP has been integral to sales growth and development. “The international trade shows and trade missions organized by STEP and foreign embassies are where the company gets to meet qualified buyers. Anytime they face trade barriers such as diverse regulatory requirements, which is common with hemp foods, STEP and embassy trade commissioners have been very helpful in navigating the way.”

Kevin at Foodex Japan, at STEP-led mission, in March 2024