Ireland: "Interested farmers need the stability of facilities and a market"

The emerging hemp industry in Ireland is in a “catch-22”, according to Robert Johnson of Hemp Cooperative Ireland.

Speaking to the Irish Examiner at the recent Irish Hemp Event held at Teagasc’s Ashtown Food Research Centre in Dublin 15, Mr Johnson said that unless more hemp is grown, there won’t be the processing facilities put in place on a scale, but that farmers interested in growing it also need the stability of facilities and a market.

He said that the co-op has found young farmers and entrepreneurs to be “really engaged” with the crop, and can see potential uses for it.

“They’re incredibly dynamic, they’re thoughtful and they ask the right questions and they take risks; they haven’t been beaten down the years, they’ve got the youthful vigour,” Mr Johnson said.

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