Dutch company supports initiative of the Romanian state to provide grants for farmers growing hemp
HempFlax, the leading Dutch hemp processing company, has invested 5 million euros in the Romanian hemp industry. Their first factory opens this October in Alba. Recent years have seen an increase in the market for cultivation and processing of hemp, with crops farmed in Romania being sought for export and used in various industries.
Prior to 1989, Romania was the fourth largest exporter of hemp worldwide. However, the amount of hemp grown decreased sharply after that period, reaching only few hectares in 2000. Currently, investors are again turning their attention to this market. The private investment of 5 million euros by HempFlax is a significant contribution to the revival of the Romanian hemp industry.
Hemp – a natural resource
HempFlax supports the initiative of the Romanian state to provide grants for farmers growing hemp for its seed and stems. The company is also purchasing the raw material in bales from Romanian farmers. Hemp fibre is a sustainable, renewable and therefore practically inexhaustible raw material for industrial uses. It is also one of the strongest natural fibres in the world.
„With an innovative vision and vigour, HempFlax contributes to the progress of agriculture in Romania. By providing renewable resources, the synthetic fibres made from fossil resources- such as nylon, fiberglass and plastics- can be replaced by fibres from natural resources such as hemp.”, explains Oana Suciu, CEO.
In 2015, the area cultivated by HempFlax is approximately 500 hectares located in Sebes, Pianu and Petresti. Investors expect an increase of approximately 300 hectares per year. The processing capacity of the factory is four tons of stalks per hour, which means a target of 5,000 cultivated hectares in order to reach maximum capacity.
The company also aims to establish cultivation contracts with Romanian farmers, supporting the development of the industry. HempFlax encourages an environmentally responsible approach by Romanian entrepreneurs and consumers, while discouraging unnecessary deforestation and environmental change. A worldwide leader in hemp processing, the company aims to revive the agricultural sector of Romania, returning it to its former status as a prolific exporter of hemp.
The cultivation conditions and utility of hemp
One of the most important HempFlax products is hemp fibre, used in the insulation and paper industries, in the manufacture of car door panels, and not at least in the textile industry. Hemp ‘wood’ (the interior of the stalks) is used in construction, mixed with hydrated lime to create an ideal insulation and construction material for houses or industrial buildings, replacing traditional bricks or concrete.
The process of hemp cultivation is natural and environmentally friendly. It does not require pesticides, insecticides or fungicides. After harvesting hemp, the stems are left on the field to naturally begin separating the fibres from the stalks, a process which is completed by custom-built HempFlax machinery without the use of chemicals.
Protein-rich hemp seeds are used in the food industry. The leaves are dried and used for tea blends, but also for the extraction of CBD oil, used in nutritional supplements and cosmetics.
In Romania, today’s legislation allows for the cultivation of industrial hemp. Only a select few varieties can be grown, those that are certified as having a THC level under 0,2%. The strains of industrial hemp Jubileu, Dacia, Diana, Zenit and Denise are Romanian varieties developed by the Secuieni Institute, and can be grown successfully in Romania.
Since its founding in1994, the mission of HempFlax as a pioneer of European industrial hemp cultivation and processing has been to serve both people and the environment by providing modern, natural products made from hemp stalks, and also from flax. By combining tradition with innovative technology and developing a fully integrated manufacturing process, HempFlax provides customers with sustainable, environmentally friendly, affordable products that meet a high standard of quality.
HempFlax also designs, develops and patents specialized equipment for the cultivation and harvesting of hemp, including an innovative harvester that manages to combine three distinct harvesting operations at the same time: those for the seeds, the stems and the leaves.
Meet Marc Reinders and further representatives of HempFlax at the biggest event on industrial hemp worldwirde (1-2 June 2016, Wesseling, Germany): www.eiha-conference.org