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Update: The Role of EIHA and the Hemp Industry

The European Industrial Hemp Association, otherwise known as the EIHA, is dedicated to changing the mindset of European leaders and governments on hemp as a respected, promoted, and legislated product.

Currently, the production of hemp faces many challenges across the EU despite the economic and environmental benefits it can potentially generate.

The EIHA believes ‘decisive action’ is required to combat the current European stance on the hemp industry. In line with this, EIHA has published its “Hemp Manifesto” to broadcast the positive economic and ecological impact of the hemp industry.

ElleVance’s Role in the EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto

On Monday 15th June, ElleVance attended the General Meeting headed by the EIHA. As a Regular Member, ElleVance is involved in decisions made by the EIHA.

ElleVance is responsible for providing content found in the EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto and is dedicated to supporting the whole hemp industry throughout Europe.

Issues of Unregulated Markets

Considering COVID-19, many hemp businesses across Europe have been put on pause as they are not considered as an ‘essential business.’ This has unfortunately caused a growth in unregulated cannabis markets.

With this concern brought to attention, the EIHA emphasised how and why the hemp industry should be considered as an ‘essential business.’ Not just because of its environmental benefits, but also due to its positive economic impact across the whole continent.

Hemp trees

EIHA, the Economy and the Hemp Industry

The EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto beholds that growing hemp plant is a sustainable, CO2 negative source of primary materials for the manufacturing of a variety of products. As such, it can play a crucial role in industries like paper, textiles, building materials, pharmaceuticals, food and food supplements (including extracts in products like CBD capsules and oils).

New Frontier Data highlight how Volvo uses industrial hemp in their ‘eco range’ for door panels and dashboards. There is much scope for hemp for businesses who can and want to use it.

Much of hemp’s attraction comes from its low environmental impact. Firstly, no part of the hemp part is wasted; the seeds, plant, flower, and stalk can all be used.

Another fundamental fact about hemp is how it acts as a carbon sink. Which essentially means that the plant removes more CO2 than what it produces. In figures, hemp captures CO2 in a ratio of 13.4 tons of CO2 per hectare (10 tons per acre).

The EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto stresses how hemp can make a significant contribution towards a zero-emission, bio-based and sustainable economy, as outlined in the European Green Deal and the Paris Climate Agreement.

For a more in-depth overview of the EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto, please take a look at our article on how hemp can help the environment and the economy.

ElleVance believes in the use of hemp for the health of people and the environment. For more information on products, please visit our website or contact us through our website or social media channels!

Birds eye view of crop being farmed

Report: How Hemp Can Help the Environment and the Economy

Concerns over how environmental damage will impact the economy in Europe have been growing for some time as research figures show an increase in unsustainable farming and manufacturing practices to help keep up with the demand of the growing population.

The Hemp Manifesto

In a report by the European Industrial Hemp Association, they predict that the already slowing European economy will continue to decline, causing unemployment and financial strain.

The report looks into the potential of the European hemp sector as a way to encourage a greener and more sustainable economy that can support long-term growth.

How Can Hemp Farming be Sustainable?

Hemp is known to be a particularly versatile crop, and its various qualities make it a key player in the future of sustainable agriculture.

Hemp is a Carbon Sink

Hemp’s deep root system acts as a carbon sink by fixing CO2 to the soil, which is incredibly important in taking carbon dioxide out of the atmosphere. As biomass, hemp also stores further carbon.

Power stations producing greenhouse gasses

Hemp Produces Zero Waste

Hemp can be transformed into a vast number of products including paper, textiles, insulation material, ropes, bioplastics, animal feed, fuel and compost. All parts of the plant, the roots, stalks, flowers and seeds are used in the manufacture of these products, meaning there is zero organic waste.

Hemp is a Catch Crop

Thanks to its fast-growing nature, hemp can be used as a catch crop which can improve revenue for farmers. In agriculture, a catch crop is a crop that can be grown between the plantings of a main crop. There is also evidence that growing hemp can improve the yield of the main crop as its root system takes heavy metals away from the soil, thus improving soil health.

Hemp Needs Fewer Inputs

Hemp is robust, and as a result, it needs fewer inputs than most other fibre crops, such as cotton; lower doses of pesticides, herbicides and water are also required. Manure and other natural materials total 50% of the fertilisers used.

Hemp plants growing on a farm

How Can Hemp Farming Help the Economy?

The report states that, to allow for hemp production to support the economy, changes need to be made to policies across the EU and to the overall way we view hemp products.

· The use of hemp as food, feed and manufactured products should be promoted.
· Hemp farming’s environmental benefits need to be recognised.
· Drug control legislations should not apply to hemp or its products, providing they meet the requirement for minimum THC content.
· On field maximum THC should be restored to 0.3% to align with international standards.
· All EU countries should allow all parts of the plant to be used or marketed – currently, some do not allow the use of the leaves and flowers.
· Hemp should not be considered as a novel food.
· Guidance for THC in food and feed should be revised and reasonably established – the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) considers the current guidance to be outdated and strict.
· All hemp-derived raw materials should be allowed as ingredients for cosmetics.
· The EU should establish a sustainable value chain for hemp by encouraging its use in the production of short and long fibres for textiles and offering early producers incentives and training.
· Using hemp in construction in both the public and private sector should be incentivised over the use of less sustainable materials.

This data is an encouraging overview of the possibilities of hemp both as a crop and a product providing European governments are willing to make changes.

ElleVance believes in the use of hemp for the health of people and the environment. For more information on our CBD oil drops and products, please visit our website or contact us.