Welcome to the first instalment of 'Hemp Culture Around The World', looking particularly at Hemp In Romania. Hemp Culture Around The World is our brand new blog series where we explore the history of Hemp, its uses for Hemp, and the modern Hemp industry in various countries around the world.
First and foremost, we thought we'd dive into the Hemp culture, market, and industry in Romania. Romania has a rich history rooted in Hemp, with many notable historical mentions and archaeological findings in the geographical location. At one point in time, Romania had some of the most land in the world dedicated to Hemp farming. This is so impressive because Hemp was a staple crop around the world back in those days.
Hemp was most commonly used for textiles throughout history, like the canvas for large vessels and fabric for clothing. Hemp fabric was and remains a specialty of Romania to this day. Although not as prominent as it used to be, the industry seems to be making a comeback.
Read on as we take a deeper look at the relationship Romania has with this remarkable plant!
Some of the oldest Hemp artifacts on earth have been found in the region. This suggests that the area now known as Romania may have been some of the oldest Hemp farmers on earth. As expected, the continual use of Hemp in Romania resulted in advanced knowledge in farming, processing, and manufacturing.
The Greek historian Herodotus spoke about tribes in the geographical region. The Dacians and Thracians wore Hemp fabric and were much further ahead in manufacturing expertise than his nation. These same tribes also used Hemp seed in ritualistic practises like smoke baths and ceremonies.
Alongside the historical references made by Herodotus, there are accounts of 'early adopters' growing Hemp in Romania more than 5000 years ago. A ritual object containing Hemp Seeds was excavated in Romania and dated back to around this time, suggesting that the accounts of ancient Hemp farms are indeed accurate.
Even since the early days of Romania's relationship with Hemp, they used it to make fibre for clothing. As we'll discuss more in-depth later, Hemp fabric is one of Romania's specialties.
Between 1948-1952, Romania had over 60,000 hectares of land dedicated to Hemp farming. This had them ranked fifth in the amount of land a single country dedicated to Hemp in this period.
Even up to 30 years ago, Romania was one of the world's largest Hemp producers. Some reports even suggest that the country had up to 28 processing facilities at one point back then. However, the decision to place Hemp on the controlled substances list in the '90s altered this dramatically.
Romania is incredibly advanced when it comes to making Hemp fibre through mechanical processing. They are proud to claim that no other country in the world can supply the amount of naturally processed Hemp fibre as them - as you would be! We certainly appreciate how they've held on to the proper way of making Hemp fabrics.
Hemp foods are another sector of interest within the Romanian Hemp industry. Considering that Hemp seeds were among the remains in the ritual artifact excavated in the area, we can see Hemp seed has been used for a very long time. Even nowadays, Romanian farmers and processors utilise the seed to make various raw and processed foods. Hemp foods are both consumed domestically & exported.
Romania now specialises in machine intensive, 100% chemical-free fibre processing techniques. These techniques have been perfected over centuries of refinement and are now being used to make some of the highest quality Hemp fabric in the world.
Romania is one of the very few countries that are home to a Hemp fabric supply chain. Hemp fabric has always been a specialty of people in this area. They've genuinely stuck to their roots!
As laws currently stand, Romanian farmers are only allowed to grow with a select few industrial Hemp strains developed by the 'Secuieni institute'. These are called Jubileu, Dacia, Diana, Zenit and Denise.
In 2015, a company called HempFlaxmade a significant $5M investment in the Romanian Hemp Industry and has grown 1200 hectares of Hemp per year since then. Their processing facility has a 4 tonne per hour processing capacity, so their ultimate goal is to reach 5000 hectares to max that out. The Romanian government support Hemp production once again.
They have been subsidising Hemp farmers per hectare of Hemp they grow. For example, in 2018, farmers could get up to $300 per hectare they grow. HempFlax supports the government's subsidies, and they plan to make good use of them.
That wraps up our first instalment of Hemp Culture Around The World and our exploration of Romania's relationship with Hemp! Did you have any idea that Romania had such a history with this incredible plant?
It's no surprise that Romania is excelling in the Hemp fabric space because they already had much of the necessary infrastructure & skilled labour force ready to roll. With the industry starting to kick back off again, it's exciting to consider how much value this country will bring to the global supply chain. We are in dire need of natural Hemp fabric solutions, and Romania may very well help provide the answer to our questions.
Did we miss anything that you think is worth adding? Let us know below!