Industrial Hemp Association of Tasmania
Friday, 21 May 2010
Due to an increase in interest in industrial hemp products, the past few years have seen the
development and establishment of industrial hemp associations both globally and nationally.
Tasmania already has established industrial hemp growers, wholesalers, retailers, researchers and hemp
industry enthusiasts. These people have now come together to form the Industrial Hemp Association of
Tasmania. This is an important time for the function of such an association as it complements the
Industrial Hemp Association of Queensland, Northern Rivers (NSW) and the proposal to form a national
industrial hemp association. Concurrently, there is progress being made to form Victorian and NSW
industrial hemp associations.
Objectives of the new Tasmanian association include increasing the awareness hemp
products via this bona fide organisation, its business contacts and researchers. It will form a credible
information dissemination source for all interested users, producers and processors of hemp-based
products. It forms an identifiable and easily recognisable co-ordination centre which will also be used
for legislation modification and regulation management issues affecting the industry.
Recent large acreage research projects have indicated that industrial hemp can be grown successfully in
many locations with world parity yields of seed and fibre being achieved. The research into evaluating
suitable cultivars of industrial hemp at the Tasmanian Institute for Agricultural Research’s Forthside
Research Facility has proven that at least ten cultivars are suitable for Tasmanian conditions.
The inaugural meeting at Campbell Town in mid-May (hosted by Peter Simmul, Senior Horticulturalist
from the Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research and assisted by Lyn Stephenson of the newly
forming Industrial Hemp Association of Victoria) had a support group of 19 members who consisted of
growers, retailers, researchers, product developers and consumers.
The association will also promote advancements in deve industrial hemp industry as well as
offering primary producers more alternatives for crop production and rotation.
That, in turn, will enable more hemp raw product to be made available for downstream processing and
market opportunities. With the increased productivity will come more employment opportunities.
Industrial hemp is a crop that has been known and used man for over 10,000 years. Industrial hemp
can be used in all facets of our daily lives, making it a wholly sustainable agricultural solution to many
current and future ecological and economic problems. Anything from rope and string to building
products, soft furnishings and food can all be supplied from this versatile plant.
Throughout theWestern world, Industrial hemp is able to be consumed as a human food,
. The Australian Government has continued prohibition on use of industrial hemp as a food.
This is despite a recommendation from Food Standards Australia and New Zealand (FSANZ) in 2002.
This recommendation was made after a four year consultation and research process revealing the many
health and nutritional benefits of hemp seed products, including the correct balance of omegas for
human assimilation (superior to flax seed oil and fish oil).
The nutritional benefits are not limited to humans. Soil health can be enhanced due to the complex tap
root system which assists in adding humus to the upper level soil profile as well as concentrating
disbursed nutrients in that area.
The inner core of the plant, known as the hurd, is an ideal animal bedding material, and excellent mulch
for domestic gardens, orchards and market gardens and is a major component in varied building
Due to increased production of industrial hemp in countries like China and India, Australia is finding
imported product easy to access. However this may not continue because those countries are rapidly
moving towards self-sufficiency. The association members have indicated they would like to see
Australia producing and processing home-grown crops with the eventual objective of substituting for
overseas imports. At the same time, Australia can benefit from the carbon sinking properties of this
All enquiries to the Secretary:
Tasmanian Institute of Agricultural Research
Ph: (03) 6421 7694
Mob: 0408 578 102
Industrial Hemp Association of Tasmania