Hemp industry: 80% support checkoff
The National Industrial Hemp Council and the Hemp Industries Association said Monday that a month-long survey on industry attitudes towards a hemp checkoff program showed that nearly eight out of every 10 farmers and processors would support a program for research, promotion and consumer education, while more than six out of 10 farmers and processors would support being assessed to fund it.
The NIHC and HIA are forming a task force of industry representatives that would discuss the details of how a hemp checkoff would be structured and operate. The group would guide the development of a proposal to submit to the USDA that will include an industry analysis; justification for the program; program objectives; and the impact on small businesses.
The survey received 270 responses and was conducted online from Nov. 30, through Dec. 31, 2020.
“This is exciting news for our industry and exciting that there is such wide consensus in our industry to support such a program,” said Patrick Atagi, board chairman of the National Industrial Hemp Council.
“We believe that a checkoff program will help hemp not only develop markets for hemp products, but also fund much needed research and educate consumers on the usefulness and versatility of hemp.”
“It’s clear from the survey response that there is a broad level of excitement around the idea of a national hemp checkoff program, and significant interest in the potential return the hemp industry could see from an effective research and marketing program under USDA,” said HIA President Rick Trojan.
“We in the industry recognize the incredible potential of this agricultural commodity, and there was a strong consensus around the importance of educating the market about the value of hemp across the supply chain for food/grain, fiber and cannabinoids. It’s encouraging to see the positive feedback this dialogue with the industry has generated so far and we look forward to continuing to partner with the NIHC and other forward-looking allies to explore the tremendous opportunity a national checkoff represents for hemp.”
USDA checkoff programs seek to promote farm commodities and expand market opportunity for farmers, importers and industry stakeholders.
Funded through assessments on the produced commodity at the first point of sale, checkoff programs allow producers of commodities to pool resources for research, education, and promotion efforts that can expand sales and improve production efficiencies.
The Agriculture Department’s Agriculture Marketing Service oversees 23 checkoff programs for various commodities.
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