The Hemp Industries Association last week announced the availability of a free searchable map intended to help farmers, manufacturers and other businesses along the hemp fiber and hurd supply chain in North America.
Given the challenges associated with storing and shipping large amounts of fiber hemp, farmers interested in growing hemp can use the map to determine if there is a business in their area that could potentially buy the crop. The first-of-its-kind map represents the culmination of months of work by the Hemp Industries Association, the Global Hemp Association, the Midwest Hemp Council and the US Hemp Building Association.
Use of the map is free, reflecting the nonprofit missions that guide the work of the participating organizations.
Hemp fiber, or bast, and hurd are versatile components of the stalk of the industrial hemp plant, with numerous potential applications. However, a lack of infrastructure, knowledge and processing facilities has hampered the growth of this segment of the hemp industry since growing the crop was federally legalized in 2018.
The map project was spearheaded by the HIA’s Fiber and Hurd Council.
“The concept began with the goal of helping someone contemplating adding fiber hemp to their crop rotations to find out if there is a processing facility nearby that could purchase their hemp,” said HIA Executive Director Jody McGinness. “When we discovered that other groups were working along the same lines, we reached out to try to combine our efforts, and the result was a far more complete picture of the fiber and hurd supply chain that we even anticipated.”
The map includes listings of active processors with details about the businesses’ fiber processing capacity, products, available services and the geographical range from which they source hemp for production.
Due to its bulk, fiber hemp is impractical to store for long periods and to ship long distances; most processing facilities have a defined range from which they can efficiently purchase hemp. This range, or radius, is reflected in a circle around the business listing on the map. Users can click a “show me on the map” button and quickly determine whether they fall within one or more processors’ sourcing radius.
The initial map includes fewer than 30 identified active businesses, but the free resource is expected to grow substantially in the coming years as new facilities come online.
Zev Paiss, HIA’s fiber and hurd board director and chairperson of the Fiber and Hurd Council, described the map’s potential this way: “While the interactive fiber and hurd map will help identify existing business, I suspect it will be even more helpful for those looking to create new business opportunities in currently underserved locations.”
Active processors and other businesses along the hemp fiber and hurd supply chain are invited to submit or revise their map entries here. No fee is involved.