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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