The 2nd Australian Industrial Hemp Conference will be held in Fremantle WA February 25 to 28 2020 and is expecting more than 400 attendees from the production, processing, investment, regulation and research sectors to attend. The Conference will host local and overseas experts who will present their experiences for this still small but exciting and rapidly expanding ‘new’ industry. Despite drought (and fires), registrations for the Conference have been excellent. Please register ASAP to ensure you have a ticket to learn how to grow the potential of this exciting crop.

More than forty expert speakers will present the latest research and expertise on topics ranging from industrial hemp for human health to the provision of new varieties and crop agronomy expertise for local growers through to sessions on realising value from the crop’s fibre, hurd, food and health products. Ten chaired sessions over two days with Q&As at the conclusion of each so that delegates can ask questions and provide their perspective. Like the first, this Conference will be the essential meeting place for growers, processors, marketers and researchers.

Sessions will cover:

  • Industrial hemp for nutraceutical products
  • International roundup; what’s happening elsewhere in the world?
  • Seed supply for Australia
  • Crop agronomy – managing and harvesting your crop
  • Food and health products
  • Fibre and material products
  • Industry cooperation and investment opportunities

The author Bruce Pascoe (Dark Emu) and CSIRO’s Michael Robertson (CSIRO Agriculture and Food’s Science Director) open the Conference with keynote speeches on the invention of agriculture and how past practices might, or indeed should be considered together with future technologies. The talks by these pre-eminent speakers will be instructive to all Australians interested in the agricultural potential of industrial hemp and the production systems used in this country.

From this opening, the Conference will move to another much-discussed industry topic. Could more temperate cannabinoids be a harvestable product for Australian industrial hemp growers? Speakers addressing this question will include Professor Tony Bacic from La Trobe University’s ARC Medicinal Agriculture Hub, Professor John Skerritt from the Department of Health, Mike McGuire, Director Canadian Controlled Substances and Cannabis Branch, Paul Mavor from Health House and Medical Cannabis Research Australia and Dr Amie Hayley from the Centre for Human Psychopharmacology at Swinburne University of Technology. Industrial hemp is an emerging industry for its seed, hurd and fibre, but also for the nutraceutical and perhaps in the future the medical market.

Representatives from around the world will provide updates on the industrial hemp crops in their countries. Production numbers, product focus, regulation and future projections will be presented by expert representatives from Europe, Canada, China and NZ. Phil Warner (Founding Director of Ecofibre International) will lead the introductions and discussion with these experts

The seed supply and crop agronomy sessions will hear from seed supply companies, crop consultants, researchers and growers on what seed, how to grow it and what’s needed in terms of research and development. This session includes a live cross to a Tasmanian seed hemp harvest courtesy of Red Agriculture for a Q&A session in the field. AgriFutures Australia, the federal research and development corporation for developing emerging agricultural industries will also present plans for the industry and the development of national variety trials.

Products from the industrial hemp crop will also be presented and discussed. Innovations and tribulations will be shared on the opportunities from this crop. There is no doubt food (seed) and nutraceutical products from the crop will grow, but will the products from the fibre and material biomass be able to follow? Experts from industry, Australian universities, state departments of agriculture and CSIRO will report on the prospects and challenges around hemp’s farm-gate products.

The final session of the Conference will have speakers from government and industry talk on investment opportunities, carbon sequestration possibilities, water scarcity, changes to regulation and industry cooperation. Forms of growing raw material, of processing the raw material and its reusability in the sense of resource conservation will be looked at from these perspectives. Product transparency and traceability will also be addressed in this session.

The Conference will be held at Fremantle’s iconic Esplanade Hotel, and will also host workshops, industry exhibitors and provide excellent opportunities for conversation and networking. The Conference will culminate in a hemp-inspired dinner. Details can be found at www.australianindustrialhempconference.com.au

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