The US Department of Agriculture (USDA) recently awarded $200,000 in funds to the National Industrial Hemp Council (NIHC).
The grant money comes from the USDA’s Market Access Program (MAP), which was created to support and fund international hemp trade. The NIHC will use the grant to help advertise US-based hemp products and fund international research. “We are grateful for USDA confidence and the recognition of NIHC as the industry leader in industrial hemp trade and marketing,” said Senior Vice President of Trade and Marketing at NIHC, Kevin Latner, on November 13. “Today’s announcement makes NIHC a trusted partner to USDA for hemp fiber, feed, food and CBD companies looking to break down trade barriers in markets overseas.”
In 2019, the global value of the industrial hemp product industry was near $11.1 billion in retail sales. This amount is expected to continue to increase with a 52 percent annual growth rate, and an estimated value of $89 billion by 2025.
The NIHC includes Europe, China and Canada as the primary sources of industrial hemp production—the US is the third largest leading producer, following the approval of the 2018 Farm Bill. Europe’s hemp and CBD market is growing rapidly, with industrial hemp product sales reaching $424 million. China leads the majority of the hemp textile market with $1.7 billion.
Along with the $200,000 grant money, the NIHC will soon have access to multiple resources, including “trade negotiators; foreign government counterparts; and a network of international hemp industry association counterparts.”
MAP funds will be transferred via the Food Export Association of the Midwest USA. According to Executive Director of Food Export Association of the Midwest USA, Tina Hamilton, there is much to look forward to in international hemp in the near future. “We’re extremely confident and trust that NIHC will represent the best interests of U.S. industrial hemp abroad. We’re excited to be working with them as part of the USDA cooperator community,” she stated.