Detroit, Michigan – (BUSINESS WIRE) – International Hemp, a global leader in the production and distribution of certified industrial hemp seed, has partnered with Heartland, a domestic pioneer in the engineering of hemp additives. This year, International Hemp will supply Heartland with enough certified hemp seed to grow at least 5,000 acres of industrial hemp. The two organizations have created a partnership to develop multiple supply chains over the next few years that will use domestically produced hemp to support American farming and American manufacturing.
The 2018 Farm Bill legalized the growing, processing, and distribution of industrial hemp across the United States. While most companies were immediately focused on CBD and its pharmaceutical uses, International Hemp and Heartland concentrated on the industrial applications of hemp. For the last few years, they have both worked to develop the supply chain for hemp fibers and proteins.
International Hemp has exclusive distribution rights to several European-bred certified industrial hemp seed varieties. These varieties have been approved through the Association of Official Seed Certifying Agencies (“AOSCA”). As a result, these seeds have been trialed and tested in numerous states to confirm variety purity, homogeneity, and compliant THC thresholds. International Hemp works with American farmers to domestically produce these varieties to AOSCA standards. In 2021, International Hemp produced hundreds of thousands of pounds of AOSCA certified seed, enough to grow tens of thousands of acres worth of industrial hemp seed. This summer, the company plans to scale its capacity for propagation and distribution.
Heartland is a Michigan-based bioindustrial company that engineers hemp fibers as additives for plastics. Their focus is on helping large manufacturers produce stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more sustainable products. Heartland’s team works with manufacturers to help them hit their sustainability mandates by using high-performance carbon-negative plastic additives.
Hemp fibers have been used for decades across Europe in numerous manufacturing operations. They are commonly used as plastic additives for automotive parts; everything from body panels and dashboards, to cup holders and upholstery. Virtually every European car manufacturer is using hemp-based plastic additives for some part of their vehicles:
Derek Montgomery, the CEO/President of International Hemp said, “In the first couple of years, industrial hemp has seen slow development because of a lack of reliable domestic production. Big industry has been hesitant to spend money on product development until there’s a critical mass of supply. But, acreage cannot increase until markets develop and farmers have offtake agreements. This is the traditional chicken-and-egg scenario that many new markets face.” The partnership between Heartland and International Hemp seeks to address this issue by building a robust supply chain for industrial hemp materials.
“A domestic, certified seed supplier is mission-critical to successfully build America’s industrial hemp supply chain,” says Tim Almond, Chairman, and Co-Founder of Heartland. “If we are building supply chains that support local farming and local manufacturing here in America, it’s counterproductive to buy seeds from Asia. To keep our carbon footprint as low as possible, we need to work with seed suppliers that are close to the farms we’re working with. This partnership with International Hemp will help us supersede our goals for sustainability, price parity, and domestic supply chain development.“
Crops like corn, wheat, and soybeans have dominated the American agriculture industry for decades. Over 90 million acres of corn and 85 million acres of soybeans will be grown in the United States this year. These are fundamental crops for American farmers because they offer established global markets and pricing over decades. Most farmers have a good idea of what their crop is worth and who it will be sold to before seeds even get planted. The partnership between International Hemp and Heartland is essential to give hemp farmers the type of certainty they are accustomed to with traditional agricultural commodities.
Farmers that start to consider alternative rotational crops now, like industrial hemp, will be better prepared to handle future volatility in the commodity markets. Much like corn and soy, hemp can be used for thousands of applications. With hemp’s use as a strong, carbon-negative natural fiber, and plant-based protein, the trend line for its demand will continue to grow.
Industrial hemp sequesters more carbon dioxide than other traditional agricultural commodities. With the Paris Climate Accord and corporate sustainability mandates, hemp additives have the opportunity to become one of the most important crops of the 21st century because they can lower a company’s carbon footprint. Heartland recently received a USDA grant to explore industrial hemp’s impact on soil health, carbon sequestration, and regenerative agriculture. The data from this grant will lay the framework for American farmers to properly monetize industrial hemp and the corresponding carbon credits.
The partnership between International Hemp and Heartland is an important step on the path toward building America’s first reliable industrial hemp supply chain.
Heartland is a bioindustrial company that engineers hemp fibers as additives for plastics. Their team is building America’s first reliable industrial hemp supply chain to provide additives for manufacturers that use plastic resins. As an industrial hemp material processor, they work with farmers and manufacturers to ensure the product consistency of bio-based additives that can be used across raw material supply chains. Heartland’s products help companies manufacture using stronger, lighter, cheaper, and more sustainable materials. For more information, visit https://www.heartland.io.
International Hemp is a U.S.-based agricultural producer and distributor of AOSCA certified industrial hemp seed. The company is focused on building a domestic infrastructure for certified seed production to grow the global market for hemp food and fiber. For more information, visit https://www.international-hemp.com.