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The purpose of the Hemp Special Interest Group (Hemp SIG) is to facilitate connections across the multiple supply chains related to Industrial Hemp, from growing through to final products and markets.

The SIG will act as a central hub where interested parties can access the depth and breadth of existing and emerging expertise across disciplines and applications, to form new collaborations, develop products and support the infrastructure required to optimise the growth of the UK Industrial Hemp sector.

The Special Interest Group will:

  • Provide a focal point for a network of experts and stakeholders.
  • Facilitate two annual events to share knowledge and provide networking opportunities.
  • Share news, industry insights, calls for collaboration, notices of future events and funding opportunities via a newsletter
  • Build awareness and promote member activities relating to Industrial Hemp.
  • Gain interest, and seek to develop links with adjacent and allied industries, such as flax.
  • Develop thematic working groups

How to get involved

Join the Hemp Special Interest Group by signing up for BioVale membership and ticking the HempSIG box on the application form.

Membership is free of charge.

Follow this link for more information about BioVale membership and how to sign up.

If you are already a BioVale member please contact us if you would like to join the HempSIG.

Hemp SIG working groups

Representatives are sought to lead and participate in four core working groups:

  • Bioenergy
  • Food and pharma
  • Textiles and composites
  • Construction

Whilst these groups will focus on specific supply chain routes, they will also address the cross-cutting challenges to producing high quality hemp biomass e.g. retting, harvesting, and regional processing hubs.

Steering Group

The Special Interest Group will be administrated by BioVale and a Steering Group will collate input from members to determine the overall direction, purpose, and focus.

Steering Group members include:

Helen Shiels, Business Development, The Biorenewables Development Centre

Mark Blakeston, Business Lead, Grow Yorkshire

Caroline Broad, Business Development Manager, Clarion Solicitors

Lucinda Tolhurst, Director, Lucid Insight

Caroline Wilcock, Stakeholder Engagement Manager, BioVale

An image of hemp twine

Launch of the Hemp SIG at the Hemp Happening Event Aprill 2022

The Hemp Happening event, 6th April 2022, saw the launch of the HEMP Special Interest Group. Organised by SCI Agrisciences and BioVale, the event brought together a diverse range of speakers to discuss issues around growing and using industrial hemp; agronomy, genetic improvement, regulation, carbon sequestration, hemp as a functional fibre, processing and commercialisation of hemp.