Growers, researchers, processors and end-market buyers joined in Geelong earlier this month to discuss the hot topics surrounding the hemp industry at the Australian Industrial Hemp Conference.
AgriFutures Australia were proud to sponsor the major event. We’ve identified hemp as one of our Emerging Industries due to its wide range of uses. We welcomed the opportunity to bring together the thought leaders in the industry.
AgriFutures Australia, Program Manager, Research & Innovation Duncan Farquhar attended the Conference and said some delegates were amazed to see the variety of hemp products on display.
“Hemp is such a versatile plant and it was really exciting to see the variety of hemp products available from hemp seed, beer, clothing, a hemp brick which stored energy as well as hemp used for medicinal purposes,” said Mr Farquhar.
Mr Farquhar said the Conference was really timely, especially after the recent lifting of a ban on the sale of hemp seeds for food, announced in November.
“Hemp has been growing legally since the 1990s but a ban on human consumption of hemp stifled the industry. We are now seeing real growth in the market and there was a real buzz at the Conference,” said Mr Farquhar.
The Conference provided a forum for Australian farmers who are invested in the industry and those who are interested in growing industrial hemp as a broad acre rotation crop to learn more about the challenges and opportunities of the industry. The Conference also attracted Australian businesses interested in selling or using industrial hemp products.
“For Australian farmers the grain is currently the best opportunity for industry growth especially under irrigated cropping systems. However, with supply chains developing farmers are likely to want to manage market risk with contracts before planting,” Mr Farquhar said.
AgriFutures Australia will publish the proceedings of the conference in the coming months which will detail more of the current opportunities in hemp.
For more information about the industrial hemp industry, visit our Emerging Industries webpage.