What happens when a successful film producer discovers the health benefits of eating hemp – the protein-rich food that derives from the same plant as cannabis but has no narcotic properties? In Glynis Murray’s case, she began farming and selling it to the mainstream market, and so began a profitable business, finds Emma Sinclair.
A history graduate from Surrey, Glynis Murray is the co-founder of Braham & Murray, owners of Good, a hemp food company that produces everything from protein powder and oils to milk. Hemp protein is free form allergens and genetically modified organisms: it’s a very pure and functional food source.
Fifteen years ago Glynis, a film producer, met her now husband Henry Braham, a director of photography, on a film set. It’s something they still do, their latest film being 2009’s Everybody’s Fine, with Robert De Niro and Drew Barrymore.
In 1996 they bought Collabear Farm in Devon. Having both grown up on farms, they wanted to start farming themselves and looked at options for sustainable farming. Key to the economy in Northern Europe for centuries, hemp had fallen out of fashion but fitted their requirements perfectly.
Hemp is hugely beneficial to the environment: a crop that is both sustainable and profitable – and they grew it for fibre used in the BMW 5 and 3 series. It was only when they later picked and tasted the hemp seeds in the fields that they were inspired by its taste and subsequently developed culinary products.
And so began a journey to build a business that, like all the best journeys, never had a specific destination in mind. It’s a small, niche business but with heavyweight friends and fans, such as former Waitrose MD Steven Esom who is on their board and Stephen Fry, who can be heard narrating their the video on their website telling the Good story.