'Hemp Futures' an online art/science gathering to showcase the benefits of hemp

'Hemp Futures' an online art/science gathering to showcase the benefits of hemp

Scientists from the University of Aberdeen Rowett Institute and their partners have teamed up with a multi-arts venue in order to showcase the importance of Hemp.

Professor Wendy Russell received funding from the Scottish Environment, Food and Agriculture Research Institution (SEFARI) Gateway and is running an online event in collaboration with The Barn next week (Tuesday) as part of the Hemp for ’45 project.

HEMP Futures will give makers and those involved in craft and design, for example printmakers, textile makers, weavers, ceramicists, silversmiths through to artisan food makers,  the opportunity to engage with scientists and consider the sustainable credentials and versatility of hemp as a valuable, truly zero waste, zero net emissions crop.

SEFARI speakers at the event include:

Christine Watson; Professor for Agricultural Systems at Scotland’s Rural College working on a wide range of farming systems including arable, mixed, outdoor pig production and dairy systems, as well as agroforestry; Max Coleman who facilitates public engagement for the Royal Botanic Garden Edinburgh on topical issues such as biodiversity loss, climate change and making agriculture more sustainable; Madalina Neacsu; Research Fellow at the Rowett Institute who specialises in natural product food formulation for human health and Lona Dawson, Head of Forensic Soil Science at the James Hutton Institute and Advisor and Sector Lead for Environment for the SEFARI Gateway. 

This will be followed by an in-conversation with notable Danish textile designer Tanja Kirst, part of The Mindcraft Project 2020. Kirst’s artistic, research-driven and experimental approach to hemp demonstrate the great potential of this crop to catalyse a major shift towards sustainable textile production.

Professor Russell said: “We have been working on Hemp for more than ten years, it is highly nutritious, being rich in fibre, protein and important bioactives. More importantly it is a carbon neutral crop that can help Scotland achieve its 2045 climate targets.

“However, it is not currently grown as a crop in Scotland, so we have been working to support production. We helped establish the Scottish Hemp Group, bringing together actors across the supply chain with an interest in hemp. Last year we persuaded a group of innovative farmers to trial hemp and this interest is continuing to grow. We are also working with one of the UKs biggest processors; Good Hemp who supply a range of hemp food products, helping to revalorise their waste streams. We aim to demonstrate that hemp can also be a zero waste crop, with environmental benefits, as well as being healthy. To further stimulate demand, we will showcase its versatility to makers and designers at our ‘Hemp Futures’ event next week.

“We believe that hemp as a food, a fuel and as a raw material has potential to benefit the Scottish economy and will play a major role in achieving zero net emissions. It is a symbol of hope for the next agricultural revolution and green recovery

“We are very excited to be hosting this event, and I am sure those who come along will find it informative. We have a great line up of speakers and I am hugely grateful to SEFARI Gateway for supporting this event.”

The online event will take place on Tuesday, November 24 from 2pm-4pm. For further information visit https://www.craftscotland.org/whats-on/event/hemp-futures