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Hemp for Europe: One Step Closer to Fully Unlocking the Green Potential of Hemp

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From June 16-18, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) hosted its 18th EIHA Conference. The three-day online event, Hemp for Europe: Emerging opportunities for the Green Recovery was a big success. It engaged high- level keynote speakers and over 150 attendees representing the whole hemp sector.

For the first time in 20 years, EIHA welcomed speakers from the EU institutions, including the Member of the European Parliament, Mr Adam Jarubas, and the Deputy Director- General for Agriculture and Rural Development of the European Commission, Mr Michael Scannell. Moreover, among the participants there were several representatives from the EU Commission services (DG AGRI, DG HEALTH and DG HOME). The relevant presence of EU officials revealed the increasing interest and growth of the hemp industry in the European Union.

In Mr Jarubas’ words, ”Hemp can play a major role in many areas where the EU has ambitious Green Deal targets” and although “’much has been done on hemp in the EU, there are many more challenges ahead.”

The event engaged key players in the industry, including farmers, processors, manufacturers, and academia into a conversation on the present and future of hemp. Through different panels, the conference covered a wide array of topics: the first day was dedicated to the lower part of the plant with a focus on the potential of hemp fibres. The second day featured hemp as a multipurpose agricultural crop that can ensure sustainable farming practices. On the last day, panellists gave valuable industry-related insights and updates, related to both the upper and the lower part of the plant. The conference reflected a whole-plant approach, which is paramount to unlock the full potential of hemp.

“Our mission is to educate and raise awareness on how hemp could put forward innovative solutions capable of accelerating the transition towards a regenerative growth model that gives back to the planet more than it takes, whilst creating thousands of new jobs in rural areas and in manufacturing. We are here to unlock the full potential of hemp and discuss all together how to make the most out of all its applications, from the textile sector, to composites, food, supplements, and medicines,” says Daniel Kruse, EIHA President. “It is crucial for our sector to be engaged in an open and constructive dialogue with policy-makers in Europe to ensure a better regulation for the sector and more transparency and safety for our consumers. I would like to thank all the participants, speakers, and organisers of the EIHA Conference. We hope to see you next year!”

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