Global meeting place of the hemp industry in Cologne
The worldwide growing hemp industry meets every year in Cologne (Germany) for the “International Conference of the European Industrial Hemp Association” (www.eiha-conference.org), this year on June 12 and 13 already for the 15th time. As last year, about 350 participants from 40 countries are expected.
The conference will present and discuss the latest developments from all areas of the hemp industry – from seeds to the end product, and 20 exhibitors present their technologies and products. The day before the conference, EIHA will host expert workshops for members, meet representatives from Canada, USA and China and hold its Assembly in the evening.
Industrial hemp enjoys considerable demand
After hemp had almost completely disappeared after the Second World War and with the worldwide cannabis prohibition as a cultivated plant, today in Canada, China and the European Union about 150,000 hectares are cultivated again – within a few decades the limit of millions can be reached!
Hemp fibers are used in large quantities for lightweight construction in the automotive industry, in insulating materials and for thin, tear-resistant papers (cigarettes and bible papers). The shives, the woody part of the stem, are used as building material and animal litter. However, it is not only in Europe that industrial hemp enjoys considerable demand. Even before Europe, a dynamic hemp food industry with steady growth developed in Canada. In 2016, 34,000 ha of hemp were cultivated in Canada and in 2017 even the new record of 56,000 ha was achieved. This year the cultivation of industrial hemp will start in the USA, where an additional 50,000 hectares are expected in the next ten years. And also in China, the mother country of industrial hemp, hemp is being reintroduced, especially for the textile industry, in order to relieve cotton production and perhaps even replace it later. In the northeast of China, there are large programs to introduce enzymatically treated hemp fibers into the textile industry. The Chinese automotive industry also uses hemp fibers for lightweight construction. The total area under cultivation has increased from 40,000 ha (2016) to 47,000 ha (2017).