Hemp is a multi-purpose crop delivering fibres, shivs and seed. The fibre is used today for cigarette paper, insulation material and biocomposites. The shivs, the woody inner core of the stem, are used for animal bedding and construction. Hemp seeds, small nuts, have a high nutritional value, Hemp oil has an excellent and unique fatty acid profile. Both seeds and oil are used for human food and animal feed.
Industrial hemp has been grown in Europe for many hundreds of years. Through the Middle Ages and until the end of the sailing ship period Hemp was an important crop in many European countries like The UK, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy. Most important applications for the strong fibre were canvas for sails, sacks, canvas water hoses and fabrics as well as ropes.
Today Hemp is a niche crop, cultivated on 10,000 to 15,000 ha in the European Union. Because of its unique properties, particularly its environmental benefits and the high yield of natural technical fibres, hemp is a valuable crop for the bio-based economy.
The European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) conducted in summer 2012 the first comprehensive survey on cultivation, processing and especially applications of hemp fibres, shivs and seeds. It is the most detailed market analysis of European Hemp ever carried out. The reports presents the main results of the survey and is free available at www.eiha.org.
The report will be first time presented at the 10th International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA), May 22nd-23rd 2013, Rheinforum Wesseling, near Cologne, Germany:
– Download of the report: European_Hemp_Industry.pdf
– Figures of the report are availble for download at: www.nova-institut.de/downloads/Figures_European_Hemp.zip
Source: nova-Institute, press release, 2013-03-18.