Companies, Europe, News

HempToday partners with Hamburg startup on German-language edition

Nando Knodel, left, and Tim Künzel of HempConnect.Nando Knodel, left, and Tim Künzel of HempConnect.
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HempToday DACH, a German language news service covering industrial hemp, has been launched in a strategic partnership between the Poland-based Naklo Foundation and startup HempConnect GmbH of Hamburg.

The German-language edition of HempToday will offer local and global news of developments in industrial hemp and provide industry reports on DACH markets for translation on HempToday’s global English-language flagship, the partners said. HempToday, the international hemp industry networking company, is owned by the Naklo Foundation.

Co-founded last year by entrepreneurs Nando Knodel and Tim Künzel, HempConnect has a long-term goal to utilize farm level data for CO2 certification, promoting regional and transparent CO2-negative supply chains while raising the profile of the industry and reflecting hemp’s many business opportunities. The company operates out of Hamburg’s Social Impact Lab, which supports networking among social entrepreneurs.

Carbon reduction goals

HempConnect is compiling existing research on such things as applications for biochar, carbon farming and soil improvement as it explores hemp’s potential in the context of Germany’s carbon reduction goals and the business of trading in carbon credits. 

Knodel said the first thing needed to advance the national hemp industry is to collect agriculture data and provide market intelligence. “Measurability is the focal point in the beginning. We need to be able to quantify what’s happening on the farming level to get a top view on the German industry,” Knodel said.

HempConnect said 691 German farmers grew hemp on 5,362 hectares last year, according to German agriculture records. HempToday DACH will be used as a tool to connect those stakeholders and to expand the number of hemp farmers and processors across the country, Künzel said.

Build community fast

“We want to connect to all of them, unify, and engage in collective actions. Our goal is to build community fast,” Künzel said. “Key to that is informing stakeholders and advancing market clarity.” He said HempConnect will focus on finding regional solutions that “maximize ‘whole-plant’ applications that benefit the community.”

The partners said they will develop other communications and networking assets, building on HempToday’s current business portfolio, synergistic development goals and common missions. HempToday is also the organizer of international hemp-focused micro-summits at its Center of Excellence in Poland, and has organized international conferences in Latin America and Asia.

“HempToday DACH will allow deeper penetration of the industrial hemp landscape in Germany, Switzerland and Austria, and give us a chance to embrace more hemp stakeholders in those markets, especially farmers,” said Kehrt Reyher of HempToday.

“These are not only great markets for hemp products, but home to many of the pioneers who’ve led the crop’s resurgence in Europe over the last two decades.” Reyher said. “There are a lot of stories to tell, and there’s a lot of hemp expertise to be tapped in this part of Europe.”

Advisers on board

That starts with a board of hemp industry experts the partners are forming. Already signed on as advisers are: Daniel Kruse, CEO at Hempro International, GmbH, Dusseldorf, who is also current president of the European Industrial Hemp Association; Bernd Frank, BaFa Neu GmbH, Malsch; Rafael Dulon, HANF FARM, Melz; Stefan Nölker-Wunderwald, Hanf Zeit, Steinheim; Marijn Roersch van der Hoogte, MRHemp, Berlin; and Heinrich Wieker, HHH Hemp Harvesting Technology, Burgdorf.

HempToday DACH is the fourth non-English iteration of HempToday, which launched a Japanese language edition in cooperation with Prossimo, Japan’s leading hemp company, in 2017, later starting HempToday en Español in 2019, followed by HempToday Czechia in the Czech Republic in 2020.

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