For Immediate Release
Monday, September 10, 2007
CONTACT: Tom Murphy 207-542-4998
Adam Eidinger 202-744-2671
Hemp Food Markets Continue Growth in United States
Canadian Hemp Acreage Declines in 2007 as Expected
OCCIDENTAL, CA — The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) is pleased with the latest statistics on hemp markets and acreage from Canada. The statistics, released by Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada, Health Canada and Statistics Canada late last month, show that the decade-old Canadian hemp industry is continuing its growth, but at a more moderate and sustainable pace.
"Last fall we expected the double-digit growth of the hemp food sector to continue in 2007, especially since hemp milk would finally be available to waiting consumers," says Eric Steenstra, HIA Executive Director. "The latest statistics out of Canada for 2007 to date far exceeded our expectations. We project that this growth in the markets for hemp products will keep pace into 2008, with some categories experiencing triple-digit growth," adds Steenstra.
Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada and Statistics Canada data show that the quantity of hemp seed exports increased 300% from 2006 to 2007. Hemp oil exports kept pace, with an 85% increase in quantity. Hemp fiber exports showed encouraging progress, with a 65% increase in quantity. All statistics represent growth from the period January to June in 2007 versus the same period in 2006. Hemp industry experts had predicted a drop in acreage as a result of wholesale market conditions.
"Due to higher prices of other commodities, the lack of a major commercial fiber processing facility, and some surplus left over from 2006, hemp acreage has decreased for 2007," says Arthur Hanks, Executive Director of the Canadian Hemp Trade Alliance. "On the plus side, we estimate that the farm-gate value of Canada's hemp industry is about $7 million per year, and with value-added processing that number can well exceed $10 million per year."
Health Canada statistics show that 48,060 acres of industrial hemp were produced in Canada in 2006. The Health Canada draft statistics for 2007 show a decline to 11,569 acres. Hemp industry experts had expected an even larger decrease and are not surprised with this year's numbers. Farmers in Canada have reported that hemp is still one of the most profitable crops they can grow.
"In 2006 there were some exceptional yields in hemp grain. It is very easy to overproduce in this sector," comments Arthur Hanks. "The hemp industry cut contracted acres in 2007 in order to move remaining 2006 production. Food processing capability continues to expand." Hanks continues, "The data is very good and shows quite strong market growth. There was a 300% growth in quantity of hemp seed exports, and hemp oil exports are on track to exceed 80% growth. And this is all happening with a stronger Canadian dollar."
U.S. companies that manufacture or sell products made with hemp include Dr. Bronner's Magic Soaps, a California company that manufactures the number-one-selling natural soap, and FlexForm Technologies, an Indiana company whose natural fiber materials are used in over 2 million cars. Hemp food manufacturers, such as French Meadow Bakery, Hempzels, Living Harvest, Manitoba Harvest, Nature's Path, Nutiva and Ruth's Hemp Foods, now make their products with Canadian hemp.
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The Hemp Industries Association (HIA) represents the interests of the hemp industry and encourages the research and development of new hemp products. More information about hemp's many uses and hemp legislation may be found at www.HempIndustries.org and www.VoteHemp.com. DVD Video News Releases featuring footage of hemp farming in other countries are available upon request by contacting Adam Eidinger at 202-744-2671.