Trained as an engineer in biological processes for the food industry, Pierre-Jean Colombier turned to the hemp building industry at age 47, inspired by the local hemp movement in the Rhône Alps region of France. In 2012 he founded ChanvRA, a producer of hemp blocks, hemp insulation and hemp fiber which is active in the region’s localized hemp economy. He is also a member of Initiative Chanvre, an international effort to develop and promote low-cost business models and tools applicable to the industrial hemp industries.
HempToday: How did you get started with hemp?
Pierre-Jean Colombier: Around 2007-2010 I fell in love with products from hemp and especially hempcrete. I became totally convinced of the performance properties of hemp products and just couldn’t bring myself to do anything other than continue in this sector. I learned quickly that processing and producing required too much investment but getting into building materials was possible for me.