Lime Technology, the UK’s leading developer and manufacturer of lime based low carbon building products, has today announced the acquisition of Hemcore, the Suffolk based industrial hemp processor and supplier. The business was purchased from Hemcore’s administrators.
Lime Technology has been working with Hemcore over the past five years, as part of the supply chain for its Tradical® Hemcrete® product. An innovative product used to create carbon negative, highly thermally efficient walls, it is a mix of hemp shiv, supplied by Hemcore, and a lime based binder.
As well as providing hemp shiv for Hemcrete® and other construction products, Lime Technology will continue to service the Hemcore supply chain providing a range of products including horse bedding and fibre to the automotive industry. Hemp fibre is used as a lightweight renewable alternative in the body panels of many cars as well as being the raw material for hemp insulation.
As part of the acquisition, Lime Technology will be retaining the Hemcore brand name plus its offices and factory in Halesworth. It is planned that current members of staff will be retained and the plant will continue operating. Mike Duckett will become the Managing Director for the company and John Hobson remains the main contact for customers.
Whilst the Hemcore brand name will be retained, as part of a long term growth strategy the business will be renamed Hemp Technology Limited, a wholly owned subsidiary of Lime Technology.
To minimise operational disruption, Hemp Technology has secured supplies of Hemcore horse bedding to satisfy the growing demand for the product through the next season. The company will also be honouring any contracts that were in place between Hemcore and its network of farmers and growers.
In addition, the company is planning to expand Hemcore’s base of farmers for the growing season of 2010, a reflection of the burgeoning demand for hemp from certain sectors, such as the construction industry. It is anticipated that the hemp acreage required for the 2010 growing season will be between 6,000 and 8,000 acres.
"The acquisition by Lime Technology not only secures the future of hemp processing in the UK it also ensures that a much needed alternative break crop is available to farmers" commented Mike Duckett Hemp Technology’s Managing Director.
Lime Technology is regarded as one of the leading developers of hemp based building products and the acquisition will reinforce this position. It will also enable the company to develop new products for the construction sector and expand into new market sectors, whilst supporting agriculture in the UK.
It is anticipated that as part of the acquisition, further capital investment will be made in the Hemp Technology facility to improve quality and operating efficiencies establishing the company as a leading hemp processor.
When operating is at full capacity the plant will have the capability to process 50,000 tonnes of hemp straw per annum and provide enough shiv to build 6,000 houses.