InterChanvre

InterChanvre works for the common good with 3 areas of focus: ecology, efficiency and eco-responsibility.

 

Its goals include:

  1. Unite industry players
  2. Represent and defend industry interests and stakeholders in technical, economic and political circles
  3. Support scientific and technical research in the sector
  4. Promote the environmental virtues of hemp, the industry and its markets

Unite industry players
This industry, made up of 1414 producers, 140 employees and 6 hemp farms with 16,400 hectares in total, might be a drop in the 55 million hectare ocean of agricultural land cultivated today in France. The dynamic nature of this industry however means that it is constantly expanding with new markets on the horizon, from construction, through the automotive and textile industries, to gardening. It is vital for the sector, as a European industry leader, for supply and demand to grow harmoniously. It is up to interprofessional organisations such as ours to unite industry players and showcase their expertise and the virtues of hemp in terms of efficiency, ecology and eco-responsibility.

Download our PDF covering the hemp industry

Represent and defend industry interests and stakeholders in technical, economic and political circles
With professional industry expertise as well as experience in dealing with the public sector, InterChanvre defends the rights of producers and processors in order to support the distinctiveness of production and processing of hemp. For example, InterChanvre defends Ministry of Agriculture aid tied to production and lobbies elected representatives on the benefits of building with hemp-based concrete.

Support scientific and technical research in the sector
Research is the most important tool available to meet expectations from the construction, automotive, cosmetic and food industries. From agronomic research with Terres Inovia, to fibre characteristics with FRD, InterChanvre has assisted and supported research since its inception.

Promote the environmental virtues of hemp, the industry and its markets
This little known plant of many qualities in many domains (see the ‘Markets’ tab), is only asking for its share of recognition. And that’s the main goal of this interprofessional organisation – to raise awareness about it with an ambitious communicative strategy to complement the dynamism of industry stakeholders. Feel free to visit production sites for which open days are organised on a regular basis. Register on our newsletter to find out when the next open day event is scheduled.

Management representing upstream and downstream players

 

Our organisation has been organising the industry since 2003 and is made up of a collective or ‘college’ of producers as well as a college of processors, presided over by Dominique Briffaud, a farmer based in Vendée. The board of directors reflects the diversity of trades represented, from variety selection to end product production.

List of members of the board of directors by college.

College of producers

  • President Dominique BRIFFAUD
  • Member Laurent COSSUT
  • Member Stéphane BORDERIEUX
  • Member Jérôme GALLOIS
  • Member Frédéric GUILLOT

College of Processors

  • Vice-president Benoît SAVOURAT
  • Member Jacques MARTIN
  • Treasurer Franck BARBIER
  • Member Olivier JOREAU
  • Member Jean Paul SALMON
  • Member Philippe GUICHARD

Director Nathalie FICHAUX

 Liste des membres du CA par collège

In France, the story of Hemp is one of passion

 

Although the first signs of hemp production can be dated back to 270 B.C (in the Rhone valley), the history of hemp goes back to the Neolithic age, and has since influenced human lifestyles up until the present day. French King Charlemagne advocated its use in everyday life in 800 AD. Up until the end of the 19th Century it was considered a staple alongside bread. Its cultivation peaked in France in 1830, with a total cultivated surface area of 176,000 hectares. But in 1937, the American petrochemical lobby (Dupont de Nemours) obtained levies to be placed on hemp that proved so onerous that chemical processes gradually replaced it. This is when French farmers decide to form the FNPC (Fédération nationale des producteurs de chanvre or National Hemp Producers Union). After the second world war, the United States flooded Europe with its cotton exports. Come 1960, only 700 hectares of hemp were still cultivated in France.

Since the 90s, renewed interest in hemp has meant an expansion in cultivated areas in France - growing threefold in thirty years. In 2003, the interprofessional organisation InterChanvre was formed to raise awareness about the many qualities of this incredible plant and to defend producers alongside the FNPC. Today, France is the biggest European producer of hemp with a 16,400 hectare share of the European total, which stands at 33,000 hectares.

 

Strength in numbers

This small, dynamic industry counts a variety of stakeholders from variety selection to end production.

 

 

| Hemp it, formerly the CCPS (Seed producer)

Founded in 1965, the Coopérative Centrale des Producteurs de Semences de Chanvre, the CCPS (Central Cooperative of Hemp Seed Producers) has now been renamed Hemp it. The organisation was centralised to meet the following goal: regularly and reliably resupply French companies asking for certified industrial hemp. The cooperative is currently made up of 150 members, organised into two producers’ unions. The board of directors, which includes six members, are all seed multipliers. It is currently the only entity in Europe able to carry out industrial hemp seed multiplication within a single isolated area, ensuring a very high quality end product. Based in Maine-et-Loire, an area that has historically produced seed, Hemp it has developed specific know-how and expertise. The so-called “purification” technique of male plants is controlled by the internal certification service, ensuring a high level of monoecy (where plants have both male and female sex organs). This monoecious characteristic of French hemp seed is now globally recognised.

 

| The FNPC (Hemp production)

Created in 1932, the National Federation of Hemp Producers (Fédération Nationale des Producteurs de Chanvre - FNPC) brought together all the different French Hemp trade unions under one umbrella. It is one of the oldest French agricultural organisations. The trade union’s mission is to promote and preserve French hemp farmers’ interests and concern itself with all aspects of agricultural development of industrial hemp in France and Europe. The FNPC creates varieties of industrial hemp destined for established markets (biomass, paper…) as well as less established markets (construction, bio-plastics, food grade hempseed…). Based in Mans, in Sarthe (the department historically associated with hemp), the FNPC also analyses and guides the decision-making of the structuring of producers, after the introduction of the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP).

 

| Terres inovia (Cultivation strategy)

This institute has been assigned by InterChanvre to review trials conducted by hemp producers supplying French processors. They are made publicly accessible on Terres inovia’s website. They cover weeding, hemp varieties, pests and diseases, harvesting, preservation, sowing, and the farming calender.

Links : https://www.terresinovia.fr/publications/guides-de-culture/guide-de-culture-chanvre-2017/
https://www.terresinovia.fr/chanvre?p_r_p_categoryId=223080

 

l Hemp processors

Since the 30 September 2017, there are now 6 industrial processors. Below is a short introduction of each one as well as a link to their websites for more information.

 

La Chanvrière 

The first French hemp processor was created in 1973 in l’Aube to supply an established market: the paper industry. Today it is the biggest French processor with 7000 hectares in 2017. It supplies raw material for many national and international markets including: animal bedding, construction, cosmetics, paper production, horticultural mulch, textiles, the food industry, the car industry, nutrition and carpentry. This cooperative distinguishes itself as having always been dedicated exclusively to hemp processing.

Link : http://lachanvriere.com

 

Interval / Eurochanvre

 

Interval, a cooperative based in Franche-Compté that processes a variety of products, returned to working with hemp in 1992, creating EuroChanvre, a subsidiary focused on the processing and commercialisation of hemp. In 2017, it produced 2000 hectares of hemp. It supplies mainly the automotive and plastics industries. Interval and the parts manufacturer Faurecia created APM (Automobile Performance Materials, formerly AFT) in 2014 to develop hemp based automobile parts. The main benefits are found in weight savings (20% on average) compared to traditional materials.

Link :http://www.interval.coop/

http://www.eurochanvre.eu/

 

CAVAC Biomatériaux

In 2009, the cooperative Cavac created Cavac Biomatériaux and invested in capital equipment enabling operation of a two stage process. It’s the only factory of its kind in Europe. The first stage consists in separating the straw (hurd) from the bast fibres and a second stage transforms these raw materials into insulating materials for the construction industry. In 2017, it possessed 2000 hectares of hemp cultures, destined for the construction industry, mulch for horticultural use, paper production and felts for the automotive industry.

Link : https://www.cavac-biomateriaux.com/

 

Planète Chanvre

 

Founded by 12 farmers of the Seine et Marne département in 2007 with its base near the French capital, this company set about creating a production site and an industrial initiative which would supply regional demand. Supplying the construction industry primarily, production is also destined towards products in plastics, mulch, bedding and hempseed. Since 2011, local production has been achieved: 2/3 of the 1200 hectares cultivated are within a 40km perimeter.

Link : http://www.planetechanvre.com/

 

AgroChanvre

Based in Normandy near Brittany, this company counts 85 producers who harvested 1000 hectares of hemp in 2017, of which 400 were organic. Organic hempseed goes towards the food industry, and a notable client is Triballat – the first dairy to conceive of a hemp based dessert). The higher value fibres are destined for the production of paper, eco-construction and the composites market (these can include for example patio paving and cladding). The company also supplies the construction industry, with labelled hemp hurd going towards making hemp concrete.

Link : https://www.agrochanvre-ecoconstruction.com

 

GatiChanvre

This company based in Gatinais and backed by the local regional natural park unveiled its brand new production site on the 31 September 2017 with the help of Jacques Mézard, Minister of the cohesion of territories. In 2013, at the outset of the project, the company was trained with the help of CAVAC and the hemp produced in Gatinais was processed in Vendée to first test the market. Today, 97 farmers in l’Essonne produce around 900 hectares for GatiChanvre, with the company supplying a plethora of markets.

Link : http://gatichanvre.fr/

 

l  Construire en chanvre (Hemp used for the construction industry)

Created in 1997, this association of construction and renovating specialists experienced with using hemp-based products is robustly supported by InterChanvre, which carries out the duties of the general secretariat. The association works to improve ties with the construction sector through the following:

  • Monitoring regulations
  • Publishing rules for the profession to follow as well as publishing reference works on construction with hemp-based concrete and mortar
  • Designing courses and training artisans
  • Labelling of hemp aggregate for construction
  • Validation of binder/aggregate composite

Link : http://www.construire-en-chanvre.fr/

 

l  FRD (Research)

Fibres Recherche Développement is an innovating company created to support 11 industrial companies working to promote plant fibres and green chemistry.

It has expertise in the following:

  • Knowledge of markets with demand for plant fibres sourced from biomass
  • Applicative implementation of these natural fibres
  • Proficiency with splitting and functionalising fibres
  • The characterisation and management of the quality of these processes
  • Knowledge of the availability of resources to be used
  • Leading and managing innovation projects

Lien : https://www.f-r-d.fr/