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Europe’s biggest hemp grower moves into building products

HempFlax, Europe's largest independent industrial hemp grower and processor, has set up a building supplies division.

HempFlax, Europe's largest independent industrial hemp grower and processor, has set up a building supplies division.

This follows its acquisition of the assets, licencing, brand and certifications of Thermo Natur, a German manufacturer of natural fibre insulation materials.

HempFlax said that the acquisition gave it an instant 'seed-to-shelf' business model to capitalise on the rising consumer demand for sustainable building materials across Europe.

Currently, hemp insulation comprises less than 0.5% of the 3.3 million tonnes of insulation materials used each year in construction. With 47% of UK consumers saying they would pay a premium for more sustainable products, HempFlax is confident that hemp's share of this market is set to increase exponentially. 

The global building thermal insulation market size is expected to reach US$ 38.95bn by 2025.

HempFlax chief executive Mark Reinders said: "Thermo-Natur is a company I've long admired because it is well-known for its safe, natural and breathable materials. As those at Thermo-Natur are fond of saying, ‘nature has prepared the best materials’. This is a belief that flows through everything we do at HempFlax. Synthetic construction materials are simply not needed, and their usage has dire ecological and climatic consequences, be it from pollutants, carbon emissions or unhealthy living environments. Thankfully, market trends indicate that consumers and businesses are waking up to this and we look forward to working towards a more sustainable European construction industry.”

Guy Winterflood, chairman of HempFlax, added: "I am very excited by this new addition to the HempFlax building materials division. Vertical integration is the most effective way of ensuring high standards are adhered to whilst also extracting maximum value from a synergistic supply chain. This is what we have achieved through this transaction, which is yet another avenue for HempFlax to capitalise on the fast-growing trends toward sustainability. Consumers and businesses don't want to have to choose between commerce and the environment, and we are going to make sure they don't have to.

"Hemp is a superior industrial material which can replace plastics, fabrics, paper, wood, and even car components.  We at HempFlax will continue to work flat out to ensure the potential of this wonder plant is realised.”

HempFlax grows its low-THC cannabis plants in the Netherlands, Germany and Romania and has factories in Oude Pekela, Netherlands and Alba Iulia, Romania. It expects to harvest more than 2,400 hectares in 2020.

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