1999 YEAR END SPECIAL
Volume 1, Issue 7, December 1999 ISSN 1488-3988
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS.
This issue of the HCFR is proudly brought to you by Hemptown Clothing Inc. makers of fine, Canadian made hemp clothing since 1995. Tell us you saw our ad in the HCFR and take part in our special Christmas offer on Hemptown shirts available only to readers of the HCFR Quantities are limited. Email: email@example.com subject line HCFR
IN THIS ISSUE:
To the Editor
The Year in Review: The Top Stories
Genetically Modified Hemp?
Harvest Notebook, Part III:
1)Poor Organic Farming Practices Produce Poor Yields
2) Hemp Report and Update for Northern Ontario
Performance-Based Industrial Hemp Fibres Will Drive Industry Procurement in the 21st Century, (Part II)
Benchmarking Study on Hemp Use and Communication Strategies
By the Numbers: The HCFR List
Historical Hemp Highlights
Northern Hemp Gathering in Hazelton, BC
Upcoming Industry Events
Guelph Organic Show
Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo
Editor: Arthur Hanks firstname.lastname@example.org
Sales, Sponsorship, and Distribution:
Jason Freeman email@example.com
Dr. Alexander Sumach firstname.lastname@example.org
CONTRIBUTORS THIS ISSUE:
Jon Cloud email@example.com, John Dvorak firstname.lastname@example.org, Mathhew Huijgen email@example.com, Catherine Kendall firstname.lastname@example.org, Terry Lefebvre email@example.com, David Marcus firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter Nelson email@example.com, Eric Pollit firstname.lastname@example.org, Gordon Scheifele email@example.com
SUBMISSIONS:Submissions are most welcome. Please contact HCFR editor, Arthur Hanks, at firstname.lastname@example.org, with your story, research or information for inclusion in the HCFR. We are also looking for good quality pictures and photos.
Welcome to our seventh issue, and our year end offering. In this edition of the HCFR, we have some good information on the ongoing research in Northern Ontario (thank you Gordon), more wise words on organic farming courtesy of Jon Cloud, and the second part of Peter Nelson's eye- opening "Industrial Fibres" article. We have prepared a synopsis of what we believe to be the biggest stories of the year; also we have constructed a list of fast facts ("By the Numbers"), culled from whatever sources that we have available online and in print. Thanks to John Dvorak for his similar contribution (Historical Hemp Highlights").
This time of year often leads to reflection on the past and anticipation as to what the next year will be bringing. As an developing industry we have choices to make as we enter the new millennium. In this spirit we offer Dr. Braxton Alfred's "Genetically Modifed Hemp?", a piece we think provokes as well as persuades. Let us know what you think --- the HCFR is willing to be a forum for discussion of all matters relating to biotechnology as it effects or will affect this industry.
Thanks most of all to our readers, who have demonstrated to the HCFR that a publication of this sort is necessary and so vital to the development of the industrial hemp concept. We have published for one year, and are looking forward to be there for another. Peace.
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To the Editor:
RE: November/December HCFR
Good paper with some excellent information. I especially appreciate having growers report yields, etc. The report on Bruce Brolley had the right idea, but didn't state what "dry" was. Let me suggest that: All yields should be in dry weight in order to be standard. For grain, 15%. Otherwise, the real weights could vary as much as 50%. For forages, no commercial moisture has been mandated for use in trade, but I'd suggest dry baling weight, or 10 to 15% as well.
W.J. (Bill) Baxter, Feasibility Analysis Program Lead, OMAFRA 1 Stone Road West Guelph, ON Canada N1G 4Y2 Telephone: 519-826-3281, Toll Free: 1-888-466-2372 Facsimile: 519-826-3259, Email: email@example.com, OMAFRA Website: http://www.gov.on.ca/omafra
The HCFR invites commentary, opinions and letters to the editor. Feedback posted may be edited for brevity, grammar and content.
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The Year in Review: The Top Stories
1) Hemp Embargo: Much more than an import/export snag for a single hemp company. The three-month long "event" attracted big media coverage of both sides of the border, and was marked by some effective industry-wide lobbying. Also remarkable was how the tight-lipped DEA backed out in November; Canadian hemp has more friends than some have thought. Hats off to Kenex, for their poise under pressure.
2) Hemp Hazards: Orr and Starodub's controversial report on THC toxicity, The Industrial Hemp Risk Assessment, could result in tougher standards on food and cosmetics being placed on industry in the near future. Then again, it could prove to be a paper tiger. Since having a draft of the report leaked to the media this summer, Health Canada has delayed making the report official and no Canadian hemp products have been recalled north of the border. Furthermore, hemp seems to have shed some of historic stigmatism ...there seems to be little political will to enforce the recommendations in the report.
3) Hawaii Planting: The seeds went in the ground on December 15th. Another remarkable political event and another brick in the hemp wall has been taken out. Merry Christmas. Canadian companies have perhaps three years to make inroads in the US market...
4) High acreage in Canada: As per last year every province (except Newfoundland/Labrador, and now Nunavit of course) planted hemp. Over 30,000 acres were planted this year, despite sodden planting conditions in parts of the Prairies. This figure boggled some observers and whether this is a viable amount given the undeveloped state of the markets, remains to be seen. A high share of Canada's total acreage was organic; market indicators are strongly indicating that this trend will continue.
5) Processing Fitfully Being Developed: Highly publicised ventures in Chilliwack and Dauphin have not opened as planned, and their future remains in doubt; however, Quadrant Capital Corp quietly acquires and reopens the Gilflax, Quebec mill and begins operating as Fibrex Quebec and Fibrex Canada. On balance, there is no shortage of pressing facilities for production of oil and cake across the country and at least three dehullers are now in place in Canada.
6) Hemp Associations: The creation and development of provincial hemp associations in BC, Saskatchewan, Manitoba and Ontario. These groups have strong representation from farmers and but also have hemp marketers, processors and retailers on board. With representation from across the value chain active in these groups, hemp is continuing to forge innovative relationships.
7) Canadian hemp yarn manufactured by Hempline: Canadian hemp fibre was actually manufactured by the private sector into a consumer textile item and offered for sale in commercial quantities, Canada made and marketed home grown hemp cloth in the 20th Century! A sign of more things to come?
8) Record yield for hemp: Super high yields of hempseed in Saskatchewan have to be the year's agronomic achievement. A ton per acre equals 600-lbs. of edible protein which, as Dr. Sumach points out, means that the economics of vegetarianism are working out fine.
9) HIA convention in Canada: The weekend convention and gathering of the Hemp Industries Association outside of Toronto in September was the biggest meet and greet of an event-deprived year. The event drew a good and committed mix from both sides of the border and also served as the public platform for Kenex making their appeal.
10) Hemp foods are coming on strong: Last year it was cosmetics, but the near future is in food. Ruth's Hemp Foods, Hempola, Manitoba Harvest, Nutiva/Honeybar, HempNut, Hempscream, Prairie Emerald Oil, CHII, Omega Nutrition, Ferlow Brothers, BioHemp, The Hemp Club's pastilles, Nature's Path, Echo Oils, Fountain of Life, and some more beer... the labels keep flying out. Wanted: more chefs, cooking schools and caterers to play with this truly functional food.
Genetically Modified Hemp?
By Braxton M. Alfred, Ph.D
Biotechnology has great promise; but at the moment that is all that can be said about it. A primary reason is that it is being done by corporations, not surprisingly interested in profit, and the results are not being subjected to the rigors of academic peer review. To be sure, some is happening in universities, but the typical pattern there is that when somebody stumbles upon something of potential value, it is patented and then a corporation is set up to sell it. As a personal note, I consider patents on life forms to be an unmitigated evil. One of the more objectionable practices is biopiracy as is currently being wrought on the Mexican state of Oxaca by the University of Georgia (US). This involves raiding an area for examples of indigenous plants, evaluating them for pharmaceutical potential, and then patenting any that look promising. Then the indigenous peoples do not have access to the plants that they have used for aeons for medical purposes. The purpose of this cautionary tale is that when corporations gain control of anything, the people lose. The same could happen to hemp.
HCFR, in its last issue, reported on one field of hemp experiencing a corn borer infestation. This may suggest to a biotechnician that by adding a gene from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) the plant will acquire the ability to produce the toxin of Bt. This result may be patentable and saleable. After all, it has been done with corn. The experience with corn has not been an unqualified blessing, however. There are many problems. (1) Bt corn yield is lower than non-Bt corn unless there is an infestation of corn borer. (2) The roots exude the Bt toxin and probably kill soil bacteria and other microorganisms. (3) Since the Bt gene is in every cell of the plant, a population of resistant corn borers is produced quickly thus taking away the only pesticide that organic farmers are allowed to use and eliminating any advantage.
One of the egregious errors that biotechnicians make is the tacit acceptance of the idea that a genome is composed of independently acting genes. This is called "bean-bag" genetics. It is rejected by all except molecular geneticists and a moment's thought will show that it cannot be the case. Regulator genes are known, and the possibility of higher order control must be considered. What is it that determines that this set of genes is a chimpanzee and that set a human? The genomes are very close to identical. This example points up that connection between genotype and phenotype is very poorly understood. Current default thinking among geneticists is that every trait is "caused" by all genes, and that all genes "cause" every trait. The thing about GMOs is that a single gene is inserted into a genome with no control over where in the command and control structure they may land --- one common device is literally like a shotgun. Under a traditional breeding program, offspring always get a complete haploid set of genes from each parent. This way, all of the regulatory devices that have been built up over long term evolution remain intact. When a single novel gene is inserted, the regulatory structure does not go with it. So its behaviour in an unfamiliar genetic environment is inherently unpredictable.
I am sure that there is a very great temptation to produce, by genetic manipulation, a low THC variety of hemp. If, or when, this is done, farmers should be very cautious about planting it. The consuming public is not prepared to accept genetically modified (GMO) food unless and until much more exhaustive evaluation is done - and the evaluation must include possible environmental damage as well as hazards to human or animal health. Even though there is "no THC in seed," the product will be identified as a GMO by consumers if not by the government. It is certain that the genetic changes will be expressed in traits other than THC level.
There is also very likely a temptation to produce, by genetic manipulation, a fibre variety with low lignin content. The same cautions obtain here but with somewhat less force. Because the plant is not to produce edible seed there may be less reluctance to accept it, but still comprehensive research is required to determine all discoverable effects.
There is no way to stop the tinkering done in biochemistry labs and it should not be done anyway. If there were legislation to eliminate patents on life, this would greatly reduce, if not eliminate, the temptation to rush the products of the tinkering to market. But this will not happen soon or easily. Farmers can take control, however. Toward this end, I urge all hemp farmers' groups and associations to create and adopt a set of guiding principles with regard to GMOs. Such a statement should include a requirement for clear segregation of GMO and non-GMO crops, both in the field and in storage. Most importantly farmers must require that corporations produce indisputable evidence that sufficient research has been done such that the potential hazards are known. Your livelihood, if not your life, may depend on it.
There are now two cases of farmers who, having ordered non-GMO soybeans, received a mixture that contained both GMO and non-GMO seed. It appears not to have been a case of horizontal transfer. The suspicion is that the seed companies "salted" the shipments. Then they show up at the farm and discover their GMO plants and sue the farmer. Neat, eh?
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Harvest Notebook, Part III
Poor Organic Farming Practices Produce Poor Yields
By Jon Cloud
Cloud Mountain Inc. has 27 years of experience in producing crops organically. Our experience on our own farm started in 1972 and continues today. However, we have transcended our little corner of the world and carried our production techniques to many other Heat Unit areas and soil types. Cloud Mountain has found that not all the planting and production techniques we use in Southwestern Ontario can be successfully transported to all other areas of Canada. When we moved out of Southwestern Ontario to New Liskeard, the Ottawa Valley, The Red River and Pembina Valleys, Saskatchewan High Plains, and the Quebec South Shore, we learned to modify our techniques. Without years of experience in these growing regions the organic production of hemp would be mostly trial and error like reinventing the wheel. Thus, it is critical that you understand the soil types and nutrient loads of your farm fields.
The hemp acreage on each organic farm was to include some experimental field trials. The scientific method of plot testing yields - the method most commonly practised by University and government officials - is not very accurate for organic production. Plot testing is utilised by chemical farming and reflects the high level of chemical inputs. This method of yield analysis does not consider the differences in soil types and nutrient levels experienced in actual field conditions. Without revealing too many of the tricks we learned this year in producing hemp I will discuss one of the major lessons learned this year.
Each bioregion had parallel field experiments being carried out on similar soils with similar, if not identical, Heat Units and soil nutrient levels. Under the supervision of Cloud Mountain, farmers were acting as their own control and check for various planting techniques. In most cases, the real control was the fact that we had at least one farmer in each area with a history of previous year production. The experienced farmers were selected from among the many farmers requesting to grow hemp.
Cloud Mountain knew the ability of the experienced farmers based on previous year's involvement. The level of interest and responsibility for field production with other crops - soybeans, red kidney, spelt, corn and wheat - were reliable indicators of the farmer's ability. So in advance we knew the level of conscientiousness of each experienced farmer. The remaining farmers were farmers who had little prior history with Cloud Mountain. Thus, we would not know the level of attention paid to the production of crops. This second group would provide a good sample against checking the yield results. If the Cloud Mountain recommendations were not being followed we would immediately see the results in the fields.
The Ottawa Valley provided the greatest disparity from a yield standpoint. The farms were of equal fertility, as verified by soil tests, and variance of only 100 CHU. Thus, the growing conditions on each farm were very similar. The results were very apparent. There was a direct correlation between the attention and timeliness of farming practices and the yield.
Farmers choosing to farm organically by simply not doing work when it was recommended resulted in very poor yields. Farmers using good organic farming principles and timely farm practices produced excellent yields. One farm in the Ottawa Valley produced an excellent yield but could not locate a custom combine to harvest the field. This was primarily due to the misinformation spread by the press regarding combines catching on fire and burning up in the fields. The sensationalism has past and in fact only one farm had any trouble with fibre wrapping this year. Most of this problem is variety related. However, the later the harvest is delayed the more wrapping will increase. The seed harvest is simply a matter of timing.
The hemp fibre production was pure field experiments this year. Results indicate that seeding rate and cultivation are the most critical factors for high yield production. We had some terrible results and some fantastic results. Fibre production resulted in a dichotomy of yields.
There is little grey area regarding results in fibre production. If the farmer is not conscientious the results will be an embarrassing mess. In organic fibre production, poor farmers need not apply. Farming by neglect is not organic farming. Organic farming provides each farmer with an opportunity to be the best farmer he can. There are no short cuts in organic farming. So, if you had poor yields and weedy fields, don't blame the system of organic techniques. Get off your couch or out of the coffee shop and get your fieldwork done. Take the responsibility for your results. If your neighbour is doing a better job at producing hemp, then don't make up a bunch of excuses about why your production was low. Take the responsibility for your success or failures.
Jon Cloud is a frequent contributor to these pages. He can be reached at email@example.com .
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HEMP REPORT AND UP-DATE FOR NORTHWESTERN ONTARIO
By Gordon Scheifele
1999 is coming to an end quickly. The generous help of the Thunder Bay Hemp Grower's Association facilitated the required funding from CanAdapt for ongoing agronomic research and pilot commercial production of hemp for grain in Thunder Bay and Dryden. The agronomic research was conducted at Verner, New Liskeard, Kapuskasing, Thunder Bay and Emo. Theft vandalism was sustained at Verner and New Liskeard. Excessive precipitation at Emo damaged the trials to considerable extent.
Birds and poor spring emergence at Thunder Bay affected several trials. In spite of these problems the research and commercial pilot project was a success. The data has been summarized, thanks to Karen Davies' excellent help, and the report in part is being written. The grain samples have just been shipped to Dr. Roman Przybylski, University of Manitoba, Winnipeg, for quality analysis. The loan of the Komet single screw cold press from the Indian Agricultural Program of Ontario has been a big asset allowing us to extract oil from small grain samples to evaluate oil yields and temperature effects on oil extraction.
The 16 acres of commercial production in Dinorwic by Peter Brunner consisted of Fasamo, Fedora 19 and Felina 34. Due to very wet conditions in June the field was quite variable but still considered worth combining. Peter bought a conventional Gleaner combine with direct cutting head. The combine worked fine for harvesting. There was some wrapping on outside rotating parts. The grain was still high in moisture (28-34%). Peter improvised a drying system with fan blower but no heat. Unfortunately the week he needed warm dry air it was rainy and the grain heated and all spoiled.
The Thunder Bay Hemp Growers Assoc. seeded their 12 acre field at the end of May to 3 varieties: 1/2 acre to Fin 314, 5 acres to Fasamo and 6 acres to Fedora 19. The seed of Fasamo for commercial and research trials was poor germination and had weak vigour resulting in a thin stand and slow growth during the first month. As a result this variety was very weedy at both commercial sites. Fedora 19 and Felina 34 had good vigorous growth and desired stand resulting in good weed control. The Fin 314 at Thunder Bay was seeded at too light a rate and resulted in a very weedy thin stand. Growth for this very early and short grain variety was excellent considering the conditions. Final heights for Fin 314, Fasamo, Fedora 19 and Felina 34 were respectively: 30, 48, 66 and 72 inches. The flowering for the 4 varieties commenced respectively: 28, 50, 67 and 74 days after seeding. The harvested grain from the commercial fields was contracted with Cloutier Seeds, Winnipeg, Manitoba.
Tissue samples for THC analysis were harvested at the appropriate times of variety maturity (inflorescence was 50% shedding pollen). The THC analysis were completed by Meatherall Consulting, Winnipeg, Manitoba, and results were reported to Health Canada. All THC results from northern Ontario in 1999 were very low .
Grain harvest at Thunder Bay started the last week of September using a New Holland 1400 combine with no modifications. Fin 314 and about 3 acres of Fasamo were harvested. Harvest grain moistures were 12% and 18% respectively for Fin 314 and Fasamo. Combine break down did not allow completion of harvesting the remaining Fasamo until the week prior to Thanksgiving in October. Harvest moistures at this time for Fasamo was 12% and 18% for Fedora 19. The Fedora 19 was harvested on the Thanksgiving weekend and grain moisture was 22-24%. Two days of rain prior to the Thanksgiving weekend did elevate the grain moistures by 4-6%. The total 13,538 pounds of freshly combined grain were successfully trucked on Thanksgiving day to Cloutier Seeds in Winnipeg for drying and cleaning. There was some heating taking place in the grain of Fedora 19 but not enough to cause damage. The total dockage on this grain was 6.5% resulting in 12,661 pounds of clean seed from 11 acres adjusted to 12% moisture equaled 10,500 pounds (954.5 pounds/acre). Fin 314 was not included in this shipment.
Recently I was able to visit Hemp Oil Canada and Cloutier Agra Seeds in Ste. Agathe Manitoba. I am impressed with their set-up and state-of-the-art equipment for processing hemp grain into many different products including roasted and toasted hempseed. Both Hemp Oil Canada and Cloutier Agra Seeds are open to contracting with Northwestern Ontario farmers for hemp grain production this spring. There is a good potential for about 100 acres of contract production this spring.
It will be essential to have both grain drying and cleaning facilities in place by harvest time to insure that the grain can be delivered in top quality at 12% moisture and clean. Several leads exist for small batch dryers and cleaners.
Dr. Lada Malek, Lakehead University, Red Sky Metis Independent Nations, Alberta Research Council, Thunder Bay Hemp Grower's Association and the University of Guelph are in process of applying to Northern Ontario Heritage Fund Corporation for funding (Stage 1 Letter of Intent) for the following: 1) Product Opportunities Identification; 2) Gaps in Knowledge and/or Technological Obstacles to Commercialization; 3) Identify Technological Developments, Infrastructure Developments and Financial Inputs Required to Produce and Deliver the Crop Efficiently; 4) Land Availability and Farm Economics; 5) Project Management and Synthesis.
The 1999 reports will be mailed as they are completed. Some of you in Thunder Bay, Dryden/Kenora and Rainy River Districts may consider 10-15 acre contracts for grain production with Hemp Oil Canada and Cloutier Agra Seeds. If you are interested, it is time to begin on license application and ordering seed.
Gordon Scheifele works out of Thunder Bay as the Northwestern Ontario Research Coordinator for Kemptville College/University of Guelph.
Performance-Based Industrial Hemp Fibres Will Drive Industry Procurement in the 21st Century
By Peter A. Nelson, Agro-Tech Communications
(Second of Two Parts)
New Processes After Separation of Industrial Hemp Fibres
There has been plenty of information disseminated to date concerning various theories and working models of fibre processing for various end applications. Besides the aforementioned Hempline Inc. several other companies in North America are producing separated bast fibres. In Canada, Durafibre Inc. of Cargill Limited and Fibrex Ltd. have both experimented with processing industrial hemp fibre, although their primary products are flax fibre. Several companies and research groups working with bast fibres in the United States are separating kenaf and other fibres with varying degrees of success. Stover Equipment Company of Corpus Christi, Texas is devoting significant amounts of resources and knowledge gained in producing cotton equipment to developing processing equipment for bast fibres including industrial hemp. Other companies known to be working in this area are Kafus Industries based in Texas, Kenex Ltd. based in Ontario, and Kengro Corporation based in Mississippi.
Assuming the fibre is separated to the specifications of the end user / manufacturer, various processes can be applied to the fibre to further enhance desired characteristics. The listing of potential fibre treatments, mechanical processes and other fibre manipulation techniques is endless, but a few examples are given of potential modifications. Several universities, as well as private-sector research institutions are doing research that will easily be translated for industrial hemp fibre as necessary.
At University of California at Davis, researchers such as You-Lo Hsieh and Gang Sun are pioneering new fibre developments in the Textile Department. Researchers in Hsieh's laboratory have been involved in fibre research in two areas; strength of developing fibres and origins of non-dyeing fibres. With funding from Cotton Incorporated, a semi-automated high-speed Mantis single fibre instrument, one of the four in the U.S., has been acquired for single fibre strength measurements. Investigation of cotton fibres at ages ranging from the primary-to-secondary cell wall transition period to the completion of the secondary wall thickening (cellulose synthesis) has provided new insight about their strength and structural development. Process-based improvements to the fibre have included enzyme reactions, chemical treatments, fibre sizing and testing of blended materials. These discoveries will translate easily to industrial hemp, flax and other fibres.
Researchers at Kansas State University are exploring other manipulations of fibres to increase workability and custom applications in composites. This research can be translated into various applications with both the core and bast fibre portions of industrial hemp. A viable use for ag-based fibres is being explored by utilising wheat straw in the manufacture of regenerated cellulosic fibres and films. The object of work by Dr. Gita Ramaswamy at KSU, has been focused on the extraction, purification and identification of cellulose from straw using gas chromatographic (GC) and nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectrophotometric techniques. Dr. Ramaswamy has also investigated the behaviour of wheat straw cellulose in various solvent systems in order to determine if they form anisotropic liquid crystalline phases, characteristic of fibre-forming polymers and the development of high performance fibres with excellent mechanical and thermal properties using the purified wheat straw cellulose by wet spinning methods.
One of the other interesting research projects at KSU is under the supervision of Dr. Barbara Gatewood. Dr. Gatewood and others are exploring the use of wheat straw and other agricultural fibres in their potential application in the manufacture of low resin composites or agriboards. These are materials in which the lignocellulosic straw fibre or particles are mixed with suitable polymeric adhesive (3-4%) and hot-pressed or moulded into boards and products. Their research has shown that the variety and economic value of a "strawboard" type product can be significantly effected and enhanced through
a.) coloration, bleaching, partial delignification,
b.) controlling particle size, and
c.) improving resistance to moisture, heat, and biological (fungal and insect) attack.
These research projects, and many more, show a trend in both fibre purchasing and fibre development that points to advanced applications and performance-based industrial hemp fibre materials. There are other equally important research initiatives involving industrial hemp and other fibres, such as University of Southern Mississippi's School of Polymers and High Performance Materials under the direction of Dr. Shelby Thames and Bill Miller's Miller Consulting Group based in Jackson, Mississippi.
In conclusion, a close partnership between potential producers, industry purchasers and value-added and fibre quality researchers should occur. This will lead to better industry understanding of the full potential of industrial hemp fibres, as well as give the farmer / producer the opportunity to understand what processes and end markets a specific fibre can penetrate and be adapted to. The leadership of companies such as Crane & Co., Inc. and Interface Carpet Co. is applauded as an example of potential end uses for industrial hemp fibre and in their market building to create volume worthy of further research and development. Much discussion of industrial hemp has centred around the crop's history and uses created in and before the industrial revolution. It is time to view industrial hemp fibre as a technologically advanced building block for sustainable manufacturing systems in high value applications. Through participation from the farm to the lab to industry partners, this 21st century projection, will become a reality.
Peter Nelson is the president and founder of Agro-Tech Communications, a technology and network-based business located in Memphis, Tennessee. The company specialises in the dissemination of information concerning the industrial utilisation of agricultural fibres, new production techniques, alternative crops and marketing strategies to enhance the sales potential of agri-business and industrial clients.
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Benchmarking Study on Hemp Use and Communication Strategies
A recently issued marketing and communication study on industrial hemp by Business for Social Responsibility (BSR) concludes that environmental attributes are the major reason hemp is gaining popularity in the US. Technical qualities were also cited as a reason. Companies working with hemp have taken pains to educate both staff and consumers on hemp's environmental advantages. The study indicates that in terms of marketing, controversy was created in making associations between hemp and other forms of cannabis sativa. The implication is that such tactics are unnecessary and may stymie further growth of the market.
The Benchmarking Study on Hemp Use and Communication Strategies, released this fall, surveyed four companies producing consumer goods containing hemp content in the US: Adidas, The Body Shop, Patagonia, and Two Star Dog.
According to the report, Adidas began using hemp in their athletic footwear three years ago, with a goal of making a cost-effective shoe made of environmentally sensitive materials. Though the company did not promote the hemp content of the shoe beyond product labelling, they were did receive some negative feedback on their use of hemp fibres, including the head of the PTA of an American school. Most of the response, mostly from younger generations, was supportive and often requested more information about hemp.
The Body Shop says they chose to use hemp oil in its products because of its environmental attributes and its potential to attract consumer attention. An "in-your-face" marketing campaign in 1998 that made connections between industrial hemp and marijuana drew criticism, was similarly concerned with the message being sent to younger people.
Patagonia uses hemp in selected items in its outdoor clothing line. Like the Body Shop, the company has a history of environmental activism in the marketplace, but similar to Adidas', did not play up the hemp content its line. Patagonia has chosen to direct most of its marketing resources towards its continuing use of organic cotton. Customer feedback on the company's hemp usage has all been positive-on environmental grounds and for the style and durability of the clothing.
Two Star Dog says they chose to use hemp in its clothing line for its environmental attributes as well as its durability and versatility. Their chosen market: eco-stores and upscale boutiques, has generated little negative feedback. However, they have received some criticism from the naming of the skincare line "Body Dope".
All four companies indicated that they would continue using hemp due to its popularity. The clothing companies all source hemp from China or Europe at this point. According to the study, if hemp farming is legalised in the US, most of them would be likely to use more hemp in their products.
From the Report: Trends
"Apart from the regulatory issues, all of the companies interviewed foresee the following trends...:
Analysis of Communication and Marketing Strategies
"All of the companies we interviewed market their use of hemp and have received varying amounts of positive and negative feedback based on their marketing campaign. Generally, these companies have received a great deal more positive than negative feedback. Of that negative feedback, it is worth noting that almost all of it centred on associations between hemp and marijuana. Many parents and teachers believe these associations send the wrong message to young people. Additionally, many environmentalists and industrial hemp advocates feel that making these associations undermines the credibility of the crop as a sustainable alternative to other materials. However, companies who have made these associations have also experienced healthy sales of their hemp products - particularly among younger customers who are generally knowledgeable on the differences between hemp and marijuana. "
"A company that sells hemp products must decide whether to communicate its use of hemp, and the appropriate communication and marketing strategy. Of the companies we interviewed, most of them have developed programs (of varying scale) to educate consumers and employees on the issues surrounding industrial hemp cultivation. Hemp is an environmentally-sound material, adds quality to a number of products, and is not the same plant species as marijuana. If a company chooses to sell hemp without making efforts to frame these issues, consumers, employees, and other stakeholders may be influenced by their own perceptions (and possible misconceptions) about hemp. Additionally, customers will not be able to make purchasing decisions based on environmental attributes as easily. This could potentially cut off a significant market - the same market who responded so favourably to the efforts other companies have made to sell hemp. A corporate communication or marketing strategy involving hemp should factor in these issues to determine how and why it wants to communicate its efforts to sell hemp products (emphasis added.)"
The BSR is a San Francisco based non profit organisation that provides information and services to all sizes of companies and business sectors. Their mission is to help businesses be commercially successful in ways that show respect for ethical values, people, communities and the environment. Check out BSR at their web site at http://www.bsr.org
Study excerpts reprinted by permission by BSR
By the Numbers
The HCFR's Year End List:
# of license applicants (by June 11th, 1999): 636
# of applicants granted licenses: 578
# of applicants refused licenses: 0
Hectares under license in Canada: 14, 261.26
Hectares contracted by Consolidated Growers and Processors in Western Canada: 8500
Hectares cultivated in Spain: 11, 032
In France: 11,000
Total hectares in Europe 30,800
Price paid for conventionally grown hempseed: $0.60 lb.
Price paid for organically grown: $ 1.00 lb.
Price Canadian Wheat Board will pay for its highest-rated barley: $0.35 lb.
Retail price of hempseed in a leading west coast natural foods store: $4.29 lb
Best grain yield 1999: 2012 lbs. per acre
Global hemp sales in 1993: $3 million
Estimated US hemp sales for 1999: $225 million
Projected size of US organics food market in 2000: $ 6.6 billion
Value of all Canadian Agri-food exports 1999 (to October): $ 17.6 billion
Most bullish estimated size of all eventual markets for hemp as a nutraceutical, cosmetic, fibre, technical oil, food: $50 billion
Value of Canadian hemp fibre exports, raw and retted, from 1997-1999: $130,908
Value of Canadian hemp fibre exports, processed but not spun (tow and waste), from 1997-1999: $74, 917
Value of Canadian hemp fibre exports (same categories), from 1997-1999 to other countries besides the US: $0
Value of Canadian hemp fibre imports from the EU in 1999: $311, 531
Hemp fibre imports from China, 1999: $1064
Average annual Flax fibre exports, 96-99: $ 27.25 million
1999 Research acreage in Canada: 95.5 hectares.
Size of Hawaii research project: 0.5 acres
Size of original request: 10 acres
Approx. length between Hawaii Research project was announced, and issuance of license by DEA: 5 months
How long to grow hemp to maturity (high end): 120 days
Length of the "Hemp Embargo": 87 days (August 9th-November 4th)
Optimal turnaround time for Heath Canada to issue a license: 10 working days
Global Body Shop sales: $ 968.91 million (US figures)
Estimated value of The Body Shop's hemp product sales in 99: $90-100 million
Alterna's donation to the Hawaii Research project: $200, 000 US
Number of cultivars approved for planting in Canada: 23
How many maintained exclusively in France: 7
How many approved cultivars that share the name of a Canadian entertainer: 1
Licenses granted for plant breeding Canada-wide 13
Licenses granted for plant breeding Ontario 11
Number of hemp strains maintained in the Vavilov Research Institute in St. Petersburg, Russia: 496
How many that have reproduced by the IHA over the last 5 years: 379
Allowable THC limits in field: 0.3%
Amount of THC allowed in oil, grain and oil-based products: 0.0010%
THC count in Kenex's "dirty seed": 0.0014 %
Amount of THC claimed to make a person test positive in a urine test:?
# of issues of the HCFR published online this year: 7
Estimated word count: 65,000
If the HCFR was a 32-page paper magazine with 45-50% advertising content, how many issues would this be: 4
Cost of a hemp license in Canada: $0
Cost of the HCFR to you, the reader: free
Happy New Year!
Historical Hemp Highlights
Compiled by John E. Dvorak
(All figures relate to the USA unless noted)
# of tons of hemp used on USS Constitution in 1797: 50.
# of tons of hemp used on USS Constitution in 1999: 0.
# of states that grew hemp in 1860: 33.
# of states that grew hemp in 1900: 7.
# of states that grew hemp in 1998: 0.
Price per ton paid for Russian hemp in 1824: $170
Price per ton paid for American hemp in 1824: $115
Average # of tons of Russian hemp used each year between 1839 and 1843 to make cordage at the Charlestown Navy Yard ropewalk: 500.
Average # of tons of American hemp used: 7.
Number of tons of hemp used by the US Navy in 1849: 800.
Average yield per acre of hemp fibre in 1849: 800 pounds.
Cost to cultivate 1 pound of hemp fibre in 1849: 2.5 cents.
Average received by farmers for 1 pound of hemp fibre in 1849: 5 cents.
# of tons of hemp fibre produced in 1860: 74,493.
Average # of tons of hemp imported each year between 1887 & 1891: 36,919.
Average # of tons of hemp imported each year between 1892 & 1913: 5,500.
Average # of tons of hemp fibre produced in Kentucky between 1876 and 1900: 4,350.
John E. Dvorak, Hempologist, is a Founder of the Boston Hemp Co-op, Museum and Library: firstname.lastname@example.org & http://hempology.org
Northern Hemp Gathering in Hazelton, BC
By Catherine Kendall
On November 8, 1999 a northern hemp gathering was held in the small village of Hazelton, BC. Tero Laakkonen from Finland and Sasha Przytyk from Saskatchewan were the special guests. Laakkonen, an organic farmer and hempseed breeder is the co-founder of the FIN314 hempseed. Prytyk, an organic farmer, a natural fibre specialist and partner with Gen-X (hempseed importers and hempseed growers) based in Regina, Saskatchewan, is responsible for bringing the FIN 314 seed into Canada.
The meeting in Hazelton was an awesome hemp networking opportunity for the Gitsegukla Hemp Project participants, local community members, local hemp growers and guests. Polish and Ukraine hemp growing and harvesting, organic hemp growing, hempseed nutrition, the basics of hemp growing, hemp research and local hemp growing experiences from across central BC were the highlights of discussion.
Co-ordinated by Dave Ryan, the Gitsegukla band has been growing hemp under licence for the past two years.
Besides this invaluable formal exchange of hemp information, a separate room was transformed into a creative hemp display for everyone to see, feel, smell, taste and craft the many forms of hemp. Throughout the day, approximately 150 local elementary and high school students were guided through this hemp exhibit. Lots of young smiling faces experienced braiding hemp fibre crafts, tasting roasted hempseeds and invigorating new insight into the world of hemp.
Catherine Kendall (email@example.com) is a board member of the BC Industrial Hemp Grower's Association.
Guelph, Ontario January 27-30, 2000. 19th Annual Organic Conference and Eco-Products Trade Show
The 19th Guelph Organic Conference (Jan. 27-30/2000) is a leading organic educational and marketing event, held at the U. of Guelph, Ontario.
The Eco-Products Trade Show, an important trade gathering for the organic/alternative sector, is now sold out (85-90 tables in the Guelph University Centre) to a wide range of traders, certifiers, associations and agencies.
The Conference's educational program includes over 30 workshops, seminars and keynote talks, featuring U.S. guest speakers Eliot Coleman and Barbara Damrosch.
One workshop of interest fore readers of the HCFR is Ruth Shamai's 'Certified Organic Hemp Production & Marketing' taking place Sat. Jan. 29th at 11.00 am. Paid admission is required for this and all other workshop presentations.
Though the January 7, 2000 early registration discount postmark deadline is imminent, guests can register on an as-available basis at the door, starting Jan. 28 at 12.00 noon and continuing 8.00 am Jan. 29 or 8.00 am Jan. 30.
A full brochure can be express-mailed to Hemp readers by phoning 705-444-0923 or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org Full Conference data is at http://www.gks.com.
Contact: Tomas Nimmo, Conference Co-ordinator, Box 116, Collingwood, Ontario, Canada, L9Y 3Z4, Voice: 705-444-0923 Fax: 705-444-0380, email: email@example.com.
Montreal: January 31st-February 4th: Paperweek 2000
Palais des Congrès de Montreal. Annual meeting convention with exhibition co-hosted by the Canadian Pulp and Paper Association (CPPA) and the Pulp and Paper Technical Association of Canada (PAPTEC). Thousands of attendees from some forty countries will gather to discuss business conditions and learn about new technologies. The event will include CPPA Open Forums, the PAPTAC technical sessions with over 200 presentations, and the EXFOR products exposition.
Contacts: PAPTAC Annual Meeting Technical Program, Contact: Glen Black, Voice: 514-392-6967, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
PAPTAC Annual Meeting Registration, Contact: Pascale Frappier, Voice: 514-392-6954, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: email@example.com
EXFOR registration, Contact: Michèle Vézina, Voice: 514-392-6965, Fax: 514-392-0369, email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Winnipeg, Manitoba, February 29th and March 1st: HEMP 2000 Speaker Series & Trade Show The Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association will be hosting Hemp 2000 at the Ramada Marlborough Hotel, February 29th and March 1st in Winnipeg, Manitoba. The Hemp 2000 Speaker Series and Trade Show will deliver factual information about producing, harvesting, processing & marketing industrial hemp in order to strengthen industry potential and growth. All private and public sectors with an interest in the hemp industry are encouraged to attend
Hemp 2000 will feature expert guest speakers, panel discussions, a networking luncheon, an exhibit area with hemp related products & services, and hemp food & beverages. The event will open on the February 29th with an evening reception featuring a live auction
The speaker series will feature an exceptional group of hemp experts who will present their knowledge and experience through a series of presentations and panel sessions to educate and inform participants about the changes and advancements in the hemp industry as we enter the new millennium (speakers & topics t.b.a.). The conference is a must see for those interested in: the state of the hemp industry in North America, Government regulations & updates, hemp business opportunities & market trends, hemp food marketing, quality & THC research, hemp fibre in the marketplace, advances in hemp production and hemp research & development.
HEMP 2000 is organised by the Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association and sponsored by Manitoba Agriculture & Food and Agriculture & Agrifood Canada. Event Co-ordination provided by Blue Sky Business Services.
The Manitoba Industrial Hemp Association is a non-marketing agency whose mandate is to promote the development and sustained growth of the Manitoba hemp industry. The MIHA acts as a united voice to facilitate and support hemp production, processing, research, public awareness and education. The MIHA mission is to promote the use of industrial hemp as a commercial crop.
Please Note: HEMP 2000 deals exclusively with industrial hemp and does not promote or support recreational cannabis. All sponsors & exhibitors must agree to only display literature and/or products promoting the use of industrial hemp and not recreational cannabis. The MIHA reserves the right to remove any materials deemed unsuitable from the show.
Early bird tickets must be purchased by February 4th, 2000.
To receive an application to exhibit at the show or for more information please contact: Heather Daymond at 204-983-2994, or email email@example.com
For speakers & topics, call Bruce Brolley, Crop Diversification Section, Manitoba Agriculture & Food at 204-745-5667 for up to date information.
For interviews & media information contact: Shaun Crew at 204-275-7616
Or go to: www.pembinavalley.com/miha or http://www.pangea.ca/~hemp2000/
May 13th-14th, 2000· Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo
The third annual Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo is scheduled for May 13 and 14 at the Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, California. The event will be MC'd by Mari Kane, publisher of Hemp Pages ÷ The Hemp Industry Source Book.
Over 75 booths are available for vendors at the 2000 show, which includes a major expansion into tented and out of doors space.
The Santa Cruz Industrial Hemp Expo provides a positive basis for public support of hemp reintroduction, with an open-to-the-public, trade-show based setting that is well organised and effectively promoted. Live music, a hemp fashion show, a hemp house, a hemp camp display, hemp foods and beverages, educational and historical exhibits, workshops, videos, speakers and panel discussions are featured.
For more information call the Hemp Expo's publicity voicemail at 831-425-3003, or visit on the web at http://www.cruzexpo.com. Vendor inquiries call 831-457-2670.
HAVING AN INDUSTRIAL HEMP EVENT?
Contact Arthur Hanks, HCFR Editor, at firstname.lastname@example.org with details.
Looking for bulk hempseed products?? Hemp Oil Canada Inc. - email@example.com -
Construction Technologies has developed an environmental building system. The pre-start up company is developing technology to produce structural, insulating building materials for housing, offices and commercial projects. Hemp and other fibres are part of the high volume process. For further information please visit: http://members.home.net/lyfordg
Contact Geoffrey Lyford, Project Co-ordinator at firstname.lastname@example.org
Feral Hemp wanted.... Any reader with knowledge of wild hemp habitat is urged to contact Dr. Sumach for more information about collecting viable wild hempseed and forwarding it correctly. Please Contact: Dr. Sumach, Hemp Futures Study Group, PO Box 1680, Niagara on the Lake Ontario, Canada, LOS IJO, 905 468 3928, email@example.com
Feed the world with a click of the mouse. Visit the Hunger Site at http://www.thehungersite.com
REACH A WIDE QUALIFIED AUDIENCE THROUGH ADVERTISING IN THE HCFR. Sponsorship and Supporting positions also available. Marketplace special! Have your link here for as low as $20 per issue. For more information, please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Get your web site up and going already·
Online but not on the web? Need to give your non-profit group an Internet presence? Too busy to get around to setting up · still? ? Terry Lefebvre of Hemptrade is offering FREE web page hosting for industrial hemp-related sites, as well as layout, set up and administration for all sites at fairly reasonable rates. Contact Terry at email@example.com for more info.
SUPPORTING ADVERTISERS IN THIS ISSUE:
Hemptown Clothing Inc., firstname.lastname@example.org
Fibrex Québec Inc, email@example.com
The Hemp Club/Chanvre en Ville, firstname.lastname@example.org
Living Tree Paper email@example.com
Hemp Industries Association, firstname.lastname@example.org
BioHemp Ltd., email@example.com
HempWorld Inc., matthew@HempWorld.com
Agro-Tech Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org
Greenman Nonwood Papermill, email@example.com
Tell them you saw it in the HCFR!
READER'S FEEDBACK: Keep us honest and write us. Let us know what you think about our formats, articles, coverage, tone, delivery, coverage and everything we are doing. We appreciate all letters and emails, though we can't reply to them all. Make the HCFR the reader's choice!
The HCFR is available for free to interested parties only on the Internet. Direct subscription for this issue is 1,300+. We encourage associations working in the industry to circulate the HCFR to their members (*.txt versions are available to all interested parties, please contact us, if this is what you want). Other non-profit use is encouraged.
THE HCFR ON THE WWW:
Back issues of the HCFR are posted on the following industrial hemp web sites: Natural Hemphasis, Hemptrade, Hemppages, Global Hemp and Hemp Cyberfarm. Check us out at:
Thanks to David Marcus, Terry Lefebvre, Mari Kane, Eric Pollit and Matthew Huijgen for their continuing good work on making needed information available.
NEXT ISSUE: Issue will be out January 20th: Ads will close January 14th.
© 1999 AHEM, ARTHUR HANKS. INDIVIDUAL ARTICLES REMAIN PROPERTY OF THE AUTHOR (S). NOT TO BE DUPLICATED FOR FINANCIAL OR PERSONAL GAIN. CONTACT US ABOUT REPRODUCTION RIGHTS.