The Hemp Happening event, organised by SCI Agrisciences and BioVale took place at York’s STEM Centre on 6 April 2022 and saw the launch of the Hemp Special Interest group. The event brought together organisations and individuals to discuss the production, processing and use of hemp.
A traditional UK crop, hemp is being further developed to provide solutions to current agronomic, economic, climate and biodiversity issues. The event focused on these challenges and opportunities around industrial hemp. The conference covered topics including agronomy, genetic improvement and regulation. It also addressed issues surrounding the commercialisation of hemp as a functional fibre in buildings, textiles and bio-composites.
The inspiration for the Hemp Happening event was the outcome of two recent projects:
Speakers from a broad range of sectors and perspectives presented at the Hemp Happening event. Following the Keynote presentation on the Hemp 30 report given by Joe Ross, Director of the Biorenewables Development Centre, the first session focused on the high-value product potential of hemp seed oil.
Dr Anna Sellars, SAC Consulting, drew on her research on carbon opportunities for hemp in agriculture. Anna highlighted the need for a joined-up approach to carbon accounting for hemp and a more rigorous life cycle analysis to be undertaken.
The second session drilled down into hemp’s use as a functional fibre in buildings, textiles and bio-composites.
The final session of the day provided a call to action by addressing the wider supply chain issues and opportunities.
The UK has an opportunity to move the hemp sector forward and become a leading force globally. However, concerted effort, investment, legislature change, and support are required to scale the industry to match the opportunities presented.
The Hemp Happening event culminated in the launch of the Hemp special interest group (SIG), which will be coordinated by BioVale, to connect and support growers, processors, producers, and suppliers from all along the hemp supply chain for the purpose of developing the hemp sector in the UK.
For more information on the Hemp Special interest group see here: https://www.biovale.org/what-we-do/business-support/hemp-special-interest-group/
For more information on the Hemp Happening event please see here: https://www.soci.org/events/agrisciences-group/2022/hemp-happening