In the nineteenth century and at the beginning of the twentieth century, hemp in industrial products was replaced by iron, steel and plastic. Recent decades have seen a strong comeback for hemp. The reasons for this include European agricultural policy and combating fertilizer and milk surpluses. The cultivation of hemp types is once again permitted with government permission. The simple, environmentally sound cultivation and the durability of hemp products are factors which cannot be underestimated.
China is the world leader in the production of hemp (79%), followed by Europe, Chile and North Korea. Around 30 countries worldwide, including the Netherlands, currently produce hemp for a broad range of industrial products such as:
- accessories (bags, wallets)
- personal care products
- food products (hemp oil and paste)
- shipping (rope, fishnets, sails)
- leisure and home furnishing products (mats, pillows)
These products can usually be found and ordered on specialized websites. Research is also increasingly being done into new application opportunities for hemp.
The future of hemp
Which way is the use of hemp headed? The future would appear to be bright for this raw material. This has to do with the importance given to durability, responsible cultivation, production methods and the recycling of raw materials. Reducing the use of fossil fuels is also of importance. One thing is certain: the world of hemp and its possibilities are nowhere near being fully explored.