EUROPEAN HEMP INDUSTRIES ASSOCIATION 4th ANNUAL MEETING
On 21 & 22 November, 2006 the EIHA held an international conference in Germany. 90 Hemp experts from 23 countries attended. Among the highlights were: A report from Erik Shi of Yunnan Industrial Hemp Inc. who reported on the tremendous growth rate in the Chinese hemp industry; reports from Canada note that there are now 50,000 acres under cultivation exclusively for food use, mostly sold to their southern neighbour; Daniel Kruso of Hempro International, a German firm, talked about the nature of hemp trading in Europe, which he noted was mainly e-commerce and farm shops; Bengt Svennerstedt of the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences talked about interest from IKEA, Volvo and Saab in hemp fibres for industrial applications.; from the Czech Republic Jaroslav Skoumal of CANABIA told the assembled about the resurgence of hemp in his country, which now has 2,500 acres under cultivation; Italy's Gruppo Fibranova was represented by Cesare Tofani, who talked about the reintroduction of hemp to the Italian textile industry, for which seperation into high grade long fibres, priced at 2.5-3 Euros/kg and processed by enzyme retting and wet spinning, was under way; more on hemp fibre processing was discussed by Marcel Toonen of Plant Research International from Holland; Asian participants weighed in on the pressing matter of deveopling hemp textiles to replace cotton, which is becoming a pest plant all over the world; Bernd Frank of Badische Naturfaseraufbereitung, a German company, talked about a new Dutch cultivar, Chameleon, which yields a bright fibre which is easy to decorticate; Michael Carus, managing director of another German outfit, nova-Institut, held forth on the use of hemp fibres in the automotive industry, which used 19,000 tons of natural fibres in 2005; From France, Pierre Bouloc and Francois Desanlis reported on R&D into paper, including projects utilising the hurd.
For a more detailed report, contact me at email@example.com and I can send as an attachment a lengthier write up on the event.