Source: nova-Institut GmbH
Hemp is a multi-purpose crop, delivering fibres, shivs, seeds and pharmaceuticals. Currently the fibre is used for light weight papers, insulation material and biocomposites. The shivs, the woody inner core of the stem, are used for animal bedding and construction. Hemp seeds, small nuts with a high nutritional value, can be consumed raw or pressed into hemp seed oil, which has an excellent and unique fatty acid profile. Both seeds and oil are used for human food and animal feed. The non-psychotropic Cannabinoid CBD is an interesting pharmaceutical and food supplement also derived from industrial hemp.
Industrial hemp has been grown in Europe for many hundreds of years. Through the Middle Ages and until the end of the sailing ship period hemp was an important crop in many European countries including the UK, France, The Netherlands, Germany, Spain and Italy. The most important applications for the strong fibre were canvas for sails and sacks, canvas water hoses and fabrics, as well as ropes.
Today hemp is a niche crop, cultivated on 25,000 ha in the European Union (2015). Because of its unique properties, particularly its environmental benefits and the high yield of natural technical fibres, hemp is a valuable crop for the bio-based economy.
In the summer of 2012, the European Industrial Hemp Association (EIHA) conducted the first comprehensive survey on cultivation, processing and particularly the applications for hemp fibres, shivs and seeds. It was the most detailed market analysis of European hemp ever carried out (Carus, M. et al. 2013: The European Hemp Industry: Cultivation, processing and applications for fibres, shivs and seeds, October 2013; www.eiha.org).
In 2015, a survey for an update of the data for the year 2013 was conducted by nova-Institute. In the following report the development from 2010 to 2013 is presented and discussed.
Report (PDF): 16-05-17_European_Hemp_Industry_2013
Figures (Zipped folder): 16-05-17_Update_on_EU_Hemp_Industry_2013_Graphics-
Poster (PDF): 16-05-25-MultiHemp-poster-MC