European hemp industry: Cultivation, processing and product lines
Two fibre plants are under cultivation in the European Union – flax on approximately 125,000 ha and hemp on approximately 15,500 ha in the year 2004. Seeds, hurds and especially fibres of hemp are used for further processing. The most important markets for hemp fibres produced in the EU are pulp and paper and the automotive industry. Just under 5% of the EU hemp fibres were used in the construction sector. Approximately 95% the whole production of 40,000 t of the hemp hurds are used as animal bedding and 95% of the estimated 6000 t per year hemp seeds are sold for animal feed, mainly as bird feed.