Category: News

New research set to increase carbon capture through cropping

Centre for High Carbon Capture Cropping Logo

A new research project aims to help UK farmers and growers to target Net Zero and increase farming resilience through diversifying their arable and forage cropping choices and systems, whilst supporting enhanced value chains for industries such as textiles and construction.

The Centre for High Carbon Capture Cropping (CHCx3) is a four-year, £5.9 million project, supported by a consortium of 22 industry and research partners and led by crop science organisation NIAB. It has been awarded funding by Innovate UK under the Farming Futures R&D Fund: Climate Smart Farming, part of Defra’s Farming Innovation Programme, and starts with immediate effect.

The research will focus on five cropping options: rotational cover crops, annual fibre crops (industrial hemp and flax) perennial forage cropping (including herbal leys), perennial cereal cropping, and perennial biomass crops (miscanthus, willow and poplar). As well as evaluating their potential to enhance atmospheric carbon capture and sequestration both in the soil and crop-based products, the project will examine the effects of cultivation systems and agronomy on economic returns and other environmental outcomes. Further work will optimise the production and use of renewable biomaterials for fibre, textiles, and construction and develop carbon insetting/offsetting platforms.

Hemp Horizon

The British Hemp Alliance is honoured to contribute across a variety of work packages and become the Centre’s ‘Knowledge Transfer Hub’ for hemp. It will provide resources to support the effective uptake and utilisation of crops with high carbon-capture potential, offer practical outputs such as crop guides, web tools and apps available to landowners, farmers and agronomists, as well as providing up to date news and information as the project progresses. There will also be a wealth of opportunities for its different stakeholders to engage with and participate in the ongoing research, including crop trials, field demonstrations, webinars, workshops and training.

Project Lead and Head of NIAB Innovation Farm Dr Lydia Smith explains that crop choice, management and utilisation all offer opportunities. “Farmers and associated industries can address climate change goals through input-efficient crops that are able to increase carbon capture, but they must have confidence in achieving profitable and sustainable outcomes,” says Dr Smith.

Project Knowledge Exchange Lead and NIAB Director of Agronomy Stuart Knight highlights that the Centre will build on NIAB’s extensive programme of crop diversity and improvement, farming systems and soils research. “The project will kick-start vital new collaborations between researchers, seed suppliers, growers and industries seeking to realise the full potential of crop-based products, establish new revenue opportunities within the carbon market, and give a major boost to our shared aim of achieving Net Zero,” concludes Mr Knight

The full list of project partners:

NIAB, Biorenewables Development Centre, British Hemp Alliance, Cambond, Carbon Farm Hubs, Cotswold Seeds, Crops for Energy, Dark Green Carbon, Elsoms Seeds, Energy Crops Consultancy, English Fine Cottons, FarmED, F C Palmer & Sons, National  Farmers Union of England & Wales (NFU), Natural Building Systems, Northern Ireland Hemp Association, Rothamsted Research, Scottish Hemp Association, Terravesta, UK Hempcrete, University of York, Unyte Hemp

If you are interested in getting involved, and following the overall project please click HERE, or contact the British Hemp Alliance directly via info@britishhempalliance.co.uk

HEMP-30 summary August 2022

image credit – Mike Simpson, Hemp in Focus

In 2021 funding was provided by the UK Government’s Business Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) department to explore the opportunities for the nascent domestic hemp industry. Project partners include York University, Biorenewables Development Centre (BDC), Lucid Insight and Kepier and Company Limited, here is the resulting phase 1 report; 

“The Hemp-30 Phase 1 project has involved extensive discussion with hemp supply chain stakeholders and, building upon these discussions, the production of a Landscape Review that describes the current position in the UK and globally regarding industrial hemp as a crop and for the generation of a wide range of products. In addition, a 10-year roadmap has been developed that summarises the main steps required to deliver the proposed 100-fold increase in the amount of hemp grown in the UK by 2031.” 

This work was a huge force to bring together stakeholders within the UK, and the British Hemp Alliance are proud to have been involved in the formation of this piece of work. This is truly a cornerstone for our burgeoning hemp industry and the collaborative nature that has been demonstrated is incredibly encouraging for the future. Although the HEMP-30 project was unsuccessful at obtaining phase 2 funding (bid for >£2m out of £30m), there is a huge amount of opportunities identified that could finally bring the United Kingdom into the modern global hemp arena. By removing the crop from narcotic scheduling and recognising hemp as an agricultural and environmental powerhouse, this plant has the ability to catalyse regenerative agriculture and kickstart a number of innovative and disruptive manufacturing processes that could draw down an estimated 1m ton of CO2/year. 

This report has set out ambitious targets and lays a foundation for domestic stakeholders to build a greener future together. 2022 certainly has its challenges, but it’s fair to say, the momentum for progressive change is building to a critical mass. We hope you enjoy reading the document and we welcome members of the community to join the British Hemp Alliance and work to build on this together.  

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HEMP-30-catalysing-a-step-change-in-the-production-phase-1-report

APPG Plan for a Legal and Regulated UK Hemp & Cannabis Sector

The APPG for CBD Products has expanded it’s remit to include industrial hemp after Tenacious Labs – The Secretariat Advisory Board leading the APPG realised the importance of including Industrial Hemp in Cannabis Legislation. 

Removing the barriers to growth, most notably the stigma of hemp as a ‘controlled substance.’ The recommendations put forward in the BUSINESS PLAN FOR UK CANNABIS include putting Hemp into DEFRA, removing the licence for industrial uses and increasing the THC level in the fields will help create more jobs, boost the green and bio economy and help the UK reach it’s Net Zero commitments, as an essential tool for carbon sequestration, soil remediation and producing carbon negative products such as hempcrete 

The BHA were key advisors for the industrial hemp and environment section. With the governent’s Net Zero commitment to be “carbon neutral” by 2050, the use of hemp as a tool for regenerative agriculture and carbon drawdown cannot be ignored.  

“There is also an economic incentive – potentially £5.5bn in annual tax revenue” 

Crispin Blunt MP 

Hemp is poised to disrupt multiple sectors and recent updates to building legislation has finally recognised the importance of reducing the impact of the built environment, which currently contributes to 40% of GHG emissions.  

We are very glad the Secretariat recognised the importance of Industrial Hemp in the Cannabis debate and that the report leads with the Industrial Hemp section. This shift in Hemp policy reform can make a huge difference and create a substantial green industry that fuels innovation and technology, create jobs and support the bio and circular economy 

This is the most robust and comprehensive report ever produced that includes ALL aspects of the Cannabis plant, and is a legitimate and viable way forward for the industry that supports and represents ALL stakeholders so that everyone can benefit from a thriving cannabis industry.  

The British Hemp Alliance is building a foundation for open-source data and knowledge transfer in order to build an equitable and sustainable value chain in the UK.  

Join the BHA in support of progressive reform and become part of a better future.  


260722_APPG_Plan_for_a_Legal_and_Regulated_UK_Cannabis_Sector2

 The UK Will Only Have Access to Isolate and Synthetic CBD

It is really important that the grassroots of this industry have a voice in what happens next for CBD products, so we have an URGENT and BIG ASK from all our members and supporters this month

In January 2021, the Home Office stated its intention to establish a legal framework for consumer CBD products. Such a proposal was outlined in a commissioning letter to the Advisory Council on the Misuse of Drugs (ACMD), the independent expert body that advises the UK Government on drug-related issues. The HO sought advice from the ACMD specifically on:

  • The maximum level of THC applicable to all consumer CBD products
  • The maximum dose for any non-negligible effect for ∆9-THC and other controlled cannabinoids present at a lesser level (THCV, THCA, CBN)

While the report was a positive step in the right direction, we feel that there are some significant unintended negative consequences for the entire hemp value chain that will further hinder the development of this promising industry sector. The main issue being that if the recommendations are accepted, the UK will only have access to isolate and synthetic CBD, destroying any chances of a domestic CBD market made from homegrown flowers, and using the whole plant.

As part of the Secretariat Advisory Board for the APPG for CBD products, we are asking our supporters members to write directly to Crispin Blunt MP, (Chair of the APPG), to request him to delay any decisions on the future of CBD products, until further information and consultation by the APPG.

Attached is a letter that can be copied and pasted, or attached to an email, clearly laying out the key points that will negatively affect the industry if the ACMD recommendations are agreed by the Home Office.

**This is time critical and the letters need to be sent out as soon as possible. The more letters the Minister receives, the more influence we can have on the outcome of this process.

Please download the letter and email to crispin.blunt.mp@parliament.uk**

Crispin_Blunt_Letter


SUPPORT OUR HEMP MANIFESTO
The BHA have written a Hemp Manifesto for the UK 
please add your support so we can show the Home Office, and the regulators that we are a strong voice that needs to be heard.
 
Become a Member of the BHA and help us liberate Hemp from its political shackles..
PLEASE CLICK HERE
Our Annual Membership rates are:
£60 individual
£240 business
 
Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Nathaniel Loxley and Rebekah Shaman
Directors

The BHA is a not-for-profit company that relies solely on Membership.

BHA AGREES GLOBAL COMMON POSITION WITH OTHER GLOBAL ASSOCIATIONS

Eleven hemp associations from around the world have agreed to a common position on CBD, seeking normalisation, they say, is implied by existing international conventions. To read more CLICK HERE Read the Global Common Position HERE

Common-position-of-the-Industrial-Hemp-Sector(1)

SUPPORT OUR HEMP MANIFESTO
The BHA have written a Hemp Manifesto for the UK 
please add your support so we can show the Home Office, and the regulators that we are a strong voice that needs to be heard.
 
Become a Member of the BHA and help us liberate Hemp from its political shackles..
PLEASE CLICK HERE
Our Annual Membership rates are:
£60 individual
£240 business
 
Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Nathaniel Loxley and Rebekah Shaman
Directors

The BHA is a not-for-profit company that relies solely on Membership.

Protected: Redefining a fragmented cannabis market with technology

Redefining a fragmented cannabis market with technology

The Canxchange trading platform has been purposefully designed for B2B hemp and medical cannabis transactions, offering a seamless process for sourcing, buying and selling. Rory Dyer and George Popov – Sales Director and COO talk us through how Canxchange works, and share the Sector trends that they are picking up from the data

https://www.canxchange.eu/


Recent Members Posts

Why is the UK Government still denying the importance of HEMP to help them keep to their COP26 deforestation pledge?

During the last three days, political leaders from more than 40 countries, including the US, India, Australia, Turkey, the EU and China, have agreed on a number of proposals to help keep the planet within the carbon limits of 1.5 degrees of warming.

COP26 is probably the most important meeting this decade. It is the first time in two years our world leaders have come together to discuss the future of our planet, and decide what action they are going to take to combat the increasing climate crisis.

One of the biggest breakthroughs was Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s detailed pledge to halt and reverse deforestation, dubbed the ‘great chainsaw massacre,’ and land degradation by 2030.

More than 100 countries representing 85% of the world’s forests have signed up, including some of the biggest culprits; Brazil, Russia, Canada, Colombia, Indonesia, and the Democratic Republic of the Congo.

It is an important pledge, and underpinned by £14bn ($19.2bn) in public and private funding. But who is funding it, and why?

I ask these questions because one of the best agricultural crops that can support governments to stop illegal deforestation by 2030 is hemp. But the UK government is still unable to recognise this essential crop, as a viable solution to deforestation and climate change.

In many areas tree planting – no matter how well intentioned this is – will not help communities meet their immediate economic needs, nor will it prevent run-off, the drainage of soil nutrients past the root systems, or indeed the increasing salinity of dry land areas.

Tree planting is also costly and requires a thorough environmental assessment of the land intended for planting, including a detailed evaluation of the type of trees to be used and subsequent long-term management of this land.

The benefits of tree planting also take many years before they can be realized economically, so it is not an attractive option because it does not solve the immediate needs of communities. The key issue for many communities is food security and the general ability of people to maintain their families and communities at an economic level.

Hemp can provide the industrial quantities of biomass required to save and preserve remaining forest resources, biodiversity, and atmospheric carbon capture, while simultaneously improving food security and addressing the overtly socio-economic problems of poverty and urban migration.

Hemp is far less vulnerable to changes in climate compared to slow to medium growth forests and still shares many of the biochemical characteristics of hardwood. In addition, hemp is a very versatile crop, not just in terms of use value, but also in terms of how it can be managed by farmers. It requires low-intensive management yet can effectively replace all the goods and services traditionally supplied by the now depleted forest resources including fuel, food and shelter. Growing hemp on deforested hillsides prevent landslides, run-off and also prepares land for future crops or tree planting. Several metric tons of wood can also be produced in a hectare.

The world has already well overshot appropriate targets for greenhouse gas amount and global temperature, and we need an urgent alternative to fossil fuel emissions, deforestation and effective actions that draw down atmospheric carbon.

Hemp is capable of addressing the interlinked challenges of climate change, soil health, nutrition, bio-fuels and sustainable sourced raw materials for major industries. It is a multi-use, highly profitable crop that uniquely needs only twelve to fifteen weeks to mature, opening up the possibility of carbon or bio-mass farming within the annual food crop rotation.

This resolves the looming ‘food vs fuel’ crisis and ends the need for costly, wasteful, agro-forestry carbon projects.

By Rebekah Shaman

Managing Director

British Hemp Alliance


SUPPORT OUR HEMP MANIFESTO
The BHA have written a Hemp Manifesto for the UK 
please add your support so we can show the Home Office, and the regulators that we are a strong voice that needs to be heard.
 
Become a Member of the BHA and help us liberate Hemp from its political shackles..
PLEASE CLICK HERE
Our Annual Membership rates are:
£60 individual
£240 business
 
Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Nathaniel Loxley and Rebekah Shaman
Directors

The BHA is a not-for-profit company that relies solely on Membership.

Huddle – Hemp – A Sequester of Significance – 28th October

We had a very engaging discussion on the opportunities, the risks and the shortcomings of farming carbon when growing hemp, and how to diversify a farm’s enterprise into farming carbon alongside cash crops with Glyn Mitchell from Carbon Farm.

This is a great conversation if you are interested in:

  1. Carbon farming
  2. Hemp’s incredible environmental profile
  3. Hemp as the new environmental cover crop
  4. The new carbon code
  5. Carbon offsetting
  6. The UK Government’s climate commitments and hemp.


Recent Members Posts

BHA – CBD Novel Foods May 21

Is the Novel Food Process Really Helping the UK CBD Industry?

It is a well-known fact that hemp flowers boost the Endocannabinoid System to improve and maintain our immune and central nervous systems. In December 2020, the United Nation’s Commission on Narcotic Drugs revoked a 60-year-old ban on Cannabis, and now recognises that it does in fact have medical benefit.

The World Health Organisation even admitted that CBD is completely harmless and safe for human consumption. This decision is slowly eliminating the long-held belief that Cannabis is a dangerous narcotic. This shift in perspective is igniting a global acceptance of hemp, as an important plant for environmental and human health and wellbeing.

The UK has the largest CBD consumer market in Europe – worth over £400M and expected to hit the £1bn mark by 20251, but all CBD is sourced from abroad. UK farmers can switch to this crop easily and boost UK GDP. Yet our farmers are still restricted by outdated UK drug legislation and have to destroy the hemp flowers in the field.

It is imperative that the UK government follow suit, and recognise that low-THC Cannabis, aka Industrial Hemp, is an essential nutritional food both for humans and animals, as well as being an environmental and social catalyst for change, especially in a post-Brexit landscape.

While the UK keeps hemp crippled in its political shackles, we are unable to have a balanced and progressive discussion on what the next steps are to tackle the various existential threats we face in food production. The hemp industry is feeling this most acutely with the Novel Food applications for CBD.

The Food Standards Agency are now getting to the stage in which they can begin to potentially validate CBD products. The great risk, as the FSA grapples with this Novel Food process, is losing sight of what is actually taking place, and getting lost in the detail of a process. The question the BHA is asking is:

Is the CBD Novel Food process they are working to right for the UK, and right for UK companies and farmers alike, and not just for big pharma and corporations?

The Novel Foods process does not support the domestic green and circular economies, as it pushes small CBD producers completely out of the industry unless they are able to become part of a consortium submission. In comparison, a private UK corporation that represents the interests of 20 multinational companies has combined financial resources to take just one sample, to represent each company, in order to complete the study. At worst, the process is also creating an industry that only the big corporate companies, and pharmaceutical industries can be a part of.

The current situation with the Novel Food Applications is:
• The FSA says it has received 803 applications since January 1
• 317 have moved on to the next stage
• 4 have progressed through this Validation phase and on to Authorisation.

However, this still leaves some 486 outstanding, with the FSA confirming that 41 of these have been withdrawn. Which means that 445 applications are stuck in the process and things are not looking promising.2

We need to find a way to evolve the CBD Novel Food process so that it is ‘fit for purpose’; and prioritises UK companies and farmers, drives innovation, supports new start-ups, creates employment, and brings investment opportunities.

The CBD Novel Food process includes several parts, where extensive and costly information is required, especially the need for toxicology studies that is creating an unfair disadvantage for small growers. The Novel Food toxicological studies is tested on rats, and costs circa £300k to meet the requirements.

There are countless existing references that confirm CBD is non-intoxicating, and in reality, these toxicology reports actually have no bearing on the quality and safety of the end product e.g., History; Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Allergenicity. We believe this information could be available to all through open source, thus encouraging fair competition, and a more equal playing field for all applicants.

Instead of a costly and complicated process that only benefits the big corporations and pharmaceutical industries, the focus should be on the Certificate of Analysis (COA) instead, which confirms that a regulated product meets its product specification. They commonly contain the actual results obtained from testing performed as part of quality control of an individual batch of a product.

The COA can also show tests for pesticides, solvents, microbials, heavy metals, mycotoxins and foreign matters, so toxicology testing on animals is unnecessary. To ensure standards across the industry, the lab that is undertaking the tests follows strict quality controls and should have some form of accreditation.

It is time for the UK government to remove the barriers to hemp, to allow for food security, environmental stability and high-quality hemp food production. Start recognising hemp, as an agricultural crop, within the remit of Defra, raise the THC limits to 1% to allow for better biodiversity, and to allow UK farmers to process the flowers and contribute to the domestic CBD market.

Please read our UK Hemp Manifesto to find out more and get involved.

1. https://canex.co.uk/uk-cbd-market-on-a-high-amidst-global-pandemic-and-restrictive-regulations/

2. https://businesscann.com/over-60-of-uk-cbd-novel-food-applications-have-hit-the-buffers-or-been-withdrawn/


SUPPORT OUR HEMP MANIFESTO
The BHA have written a Hemp Manifesto for the UK 
please add your support so we can show the Home Office, and the regulators that we are a strong voice that needs to be heard.
 
Become a Member of the BHA and help us liberate Hemp from its political shackles..
PLEASE CLICK HERE
Our Annual Membership rates are:
£60 individual
£240 business
 
Thank you for your continued support.

Best wishes

Nathaniel Loxley and Rebekah Shaman
Directors

The BHA is a not-for-profit company that relies solely on Membership.

HEMP HUDDLE – THE FUTURE OF HEMP AS A BUILDING MATERIAL

 

May 21 – BHA HEMP HUDDLE 


Recent Members Posts

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