Sungold Botanicals Hemp Handling And Processing From Seed To Finish
Organic Alcohol Company HERO Spotlight
The Organic Alcohol Company recognizes companies or individuals that are making a difference in their Industry. Not only influencing by the products or services they offer, but in their values and alignment with Organic Growing practices, Premium and Quality Products, or Impact and Engagement with their communities.
Each Quarter we select our HERO Spotlight. This hero is a champion for the mission, vision, and values we share and we celebrate our values-alignment!
The SunGold Story
As the Hemp Pilot program in Oregon took hold, Josh Gulliver and John Eveland saw an opportunity and started J & J Organics to grow USDA certified organic hemp in the fertile soils near the Mary’s River in Philomath, Oregon. As hemp farming grew it became clear that there was a major lack of infrastructure to process organically grown hemp into certified organic full-spectrum hemp oil. Enter another opportunity and a new partnership.
The vision for SunGold Botanicals came together organically as the three founders compared their complementary skillsets and assessed market viability. Collaboration seemed to be the best solution. The masterminds behind the collaboration are John Eveland, organic farmer and founder of Gathering Together Farm, Josh Gulliver, compost expert and innovative farmer and Isaac Daniel, fermentation and value-added goods specialist. The three Oregonians pooled their talents to birth SunGold Botanicals, one of the first USDA certified hemp processing and handling facilities on the West Coast in February 2019.
The 8,000 square foot headquarters of SunGold Botanicals LLC is a ‘seed to salve’ hemp handling and processing operation. It’s located three miles from the J & J Organics hemp fields which provide the organic materials to create the SunGold Botanicals product line.
At SunGold Botanicals, Josh spends most of his time in the fields farming with John. When not in the field, Josh focuses on drying processes, post-harvest processing, and business infrastructure. You’ll likely find Isaac in the lab handling and processing the finished flower and coordinating collaborative partnerships with other organic growers and white label customers.
WHY USDA Organic Certified?
When the OAC team visited SunGold Botanicals to tour the facility and get a better understanding of the operation, it became clear that both companies embody our values and commitment to offering organic products.
It’s a natural fit for SunGold Botanicals to partner with the Organic Alcohol Company. SunGold’s USDA organic certification and the fact that OAC is Certified Organic Ethanol distributor ensure the integrity of the finished product.
We asked Isaac and Josh what the alignment with Organic Alcohol and organic processing means to SunGold.
Isaac says “Our alignment with OAC speaks to integrity. We know it’s a word that’s tossed around a lot, but we’re committed to the integrity of organic products and that’s why we’re so aligned. We care about organics, the land and the integrity of the products delivered to the people. Being USDA Certified Organic and using ethanol sourced by Organic Alcohol Company allows us to do what we do in a really straightforward manner. “
Josh adds, “When it comes to organic, there has never been another choice. I’ve never had a different path. It began with organic farming and that’s a big part of the reason that Isaac, John and I started the business. For us there is no other option."
Isaac continues, “We grow our own Calendula and we plan to do anything we can to grow our own organic ingredients. That process is important to us and our end goal is be GMP compliant. The hemp industry is still a little bit like the Wild West. Many are not producing what they say they’re producing. So, taking on an organic certification means we’re actively taking on regulation. We had to build batch tracking on every product that we make and carefully monitor sanitation procedures.”
What is USDA Organic Certification?
Certified Organic means a commitment to a chemical-free, sustainable growing and farming standard, ensuring a cleaner and less polluted ecosystem. Plus, it ensures the products are monitored for quality and integrity.
First and foremost, SunGold specializes in ONLY organic hemp handling and processing from seed to finish. All products are approved organic through OneCert USDA Organic Certification. OneCert is the premier international organic certifier.
“We are one of the first USDA Certified Organic hemp handlers on the West Coast. We were contacted by someone doing research and they said they found less than 10 of us nationally. He hadn’t checked the Organic Integrity list so we’re not sure all handlers/producers are organic certified. But we are. It’s good to be regulated because this is where the rubber hits the road. We have documentation for every single formulation we’ve ever made. This came in handy because the State of Oregon required us to report everything we produced by unit for the year.” Isaac explained.
USDA Organic certification for a hemp handling facility means more than meets the eye. Beyond the stamp of approval on the label, there are quality control checkpoints that must be considered and are required.
Standard Operating Procedures for sanitation, hemp extraction, and consumer-level goods production. Significant attention has been placed on worker safety and preventing product contamination.
Ingredient Tracing for all ingredients that enter the facility to ensure they are sourced from a verified USDA Organic source. Certificates of analysis for each and every ingredient are kept up-to-date and on file.
Batch Tracking including lot numbers for each ingredient on tracking sheets by day, quantity, testing date, storage method and more.
Inspections and Renewal. Each year they undergo a thorough inspection that includes a review of all records and paperwork and batch tracking procedures. In addition they must be prepared for random inspections from the third party USDA organic certifier, One Cert, which is one of the premier international organic certifiers.
Click to see the SunGold USDA Organic Certification.
What is the SunGold Process?
The SunGold Botanicals facility has space for hang and batch drying organic hemp (up to an acre a day), sorting and storage for hemp flower and biomass, as well as a lab for extracting hemp into oil using Organic Cane Alcohol from the Organic Alcohol Company. From there SunGold creates a wide variety of consumer products including salves, tinctures, lotions, and more.
The process starts from harvest. The hemp plants are harvested entirely by hand. Top grade flower is cut and hung to dry in the SunGold facility under precise environmental conditions. The rest of the plant’s biomass is hand stripped from the plants and dried in large forced air bulk dryers (similar to hop dryers). The flower is then hand sorted for quality control, machine trimmed per batch if being used for the flower market, or boxed and moved around the corner into the lab for processing.
The processing starts with fresh hemp biomass weighed into fine mesh bags dipped in cryogenic-temperature (-85 degrees Celsius!) OAC Organic Cane Alcohol. The ultra-chilled alcohol acts as a highly effective solvent, pulling off the vast majority of cannabinoids in as few as seven minutes of contact time. The bags are spun in a special centrifuge rated for flammable materials, then the recovered alcohol is sent back into the freezer overnight (a process called ‘winterization’). From there it is filtered through a sock filter and transferred over the course of a day into a rotary evaporator, which separates the alcohol from the full spectrum hemp oil. The alcohol is able to be reused, though loss occurs on each run of product. Once separated, the full spectrum oil is heated gently to convert the CBD into a more bioavailable form (called ‘decarboxylation’) then heads out for wholesale or moves into the ‘clean room’ where SunGold products are manufactured. The spent hemp biomass is stored to be repurposed into other products or composted.
The SunGold Products
All SunGold products are made from organic, self-grown hemp and in-house extracted full-spectrum oil. The product line includes massage oils, lotions, tinctures, CBD-infused coconut oil and salves. SunGold also makes herbal oils using Arnica Oil and Calendula Oil. The Calendula is grown on their farm and is USDA Organic certified. They plan to expand their botanical line of products to include hydrosols, essential oils, and other infused oils using self-grown herbs.
Isaac shares “We do splits and traditional toll processes and support other organic farmers to handle and process organic hemp, too. We want to promote organics and support our private label partners because we know their success is ours.”
“We want a nice broad line of products so we’re doing some elderberry syrup and Echinacea products. We grow our own ingredients and plan to stay on the path of seed to finished products” Josh added.
To learn more visit www.sgborganics.com and receive 10% off your entire purchase by using the Coupon Code 'OAC' at checkout.