Industrial hemp can play a major role as Europe takes on the economic challenges of the coming years, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) said this week as it released a roadmap to the crop’s future.
Citing the “huge potential” of the European hemp industry to speed up transition toward an environmentally sustainable economy, EIHA’s Hemp Manifesto specifically emphasizes hemp’s promise for economic sustainability in rural development. “The whole economy of rural areas could be positively impacted,” particularly considering the potential for use of the whole hemp plant – its seeds, stalks, flowers and leaves, according to the document, which underscores the positive impact hemp could have under 10 key recommendations.
Earth Day release
EIHA released the manifesto in time for Earth Day 2020 to underscore hemp’s potential for reducing climate change.
“Today’s environmental and health catastrophes are the price the world is paying for . . . global economic growth based on individualism, greed and disrespect of all other forms of life,” the document states.
“Nonetheless, in the face of the most recent events, humans seem to acknowledge this and recognize that most of the threats we are now compelled to address are indeed a direct consequence of human intervention.
“The change of mindset now needs to be translated into concrete proposals and eventually into decisive actions, because only a drastic change in our patterns would help us deviate from a dangerous trajectory,” the manifesto reads.
Sustainable value chains
Noting that public policy should promote hemp in food, feed and manufactured products while financing the development of sustainable value chains, The Hemp Manifesto urges the following:
1. EU Member States should allocate part of direct subsidies for the development of hemp production.
2. The contribution to the environment of the hemp plant should be recognized and the use of hemp for carbon farming encouraged.
3. Member States should not apply drug control laws to hemp and its derivatives as long as THC limits are respected.
4. The maximum THC level allowed for industrial hemp on the field should be restored to 0.3%, allowing the sector to align with international standards and start breeding new and more adapted varieties to satisfy farmer practices and consumer trends.
5. Operators should be allowed to harvest and make products from all parts of the plant, including flowers and leaves, and market any kind of product that respects THC limits.
6. Hemp and hemp preparations containing a naturally occurring cannabinoid content should not be considered as Novel Food.
7. Reasonable guidance values for THC in food and feed should be established.
8. All hemp derived raw materials should be permitted as ingredients for cosmetics.
9. The EU should value and promote the use of hemp for the production of short and long fiber for textiles, and favor the setting up of sustainable value chains
10. The use of hemp-based construction and other materials should be incentivized both in public and private sectors, with clear goals for the total or partial substitution of other less sustainable alternatives.