AUSTIN, Texas — Whole Foods Market is celebrating Hemp History Week, which is a nationwide education campaign that runs from June 3 to 9 to raise awareness about the benefits of hemp products, by spotlighting more than 300 hemp products, including body care products.
Hemp is an environmentally sustainable ingredient used to make a wide variety of foods, paper, clothing, body care products, building materials and fuel, the retailer stated. The crop originated in Central Asia thousands of years ago and was brought to North America in the 1600s, where Canada now acts as the main supplier to the United States market. Hemp functions as a nutritional powerhouse and is loaded with digestible protein, dietary fiber and vitamin E.
“It is encouraging to witness the growing demand for hemp products,” stated Errol Schweizer, global grocery coordinator for Whole Foods Market. “We have seen a tremendous increase in products made with this nutritious, wholesome ingredient over the last five years. We are committed to offering our shoppers a wide array of the highest quality hemp products in our grocery and body care departments.”
Whole Foods Market offers a variety of hemp products, including an assortment of personal care products such as lotions, makeup and shampoos. Products will be prominently featured throughout the store with special displays during Hemp History Week.
According to federal trade statistics, the importation of hemp has more than quadrupled from 2000 to 2011. The Hemp Industries Association estimates that the total retail value of hemp products in 2011 was $452 million, the retailer stated. Currently, all hemp products in the United States use imported raw materials since it is not cultivated in the United States. However, several states are now working on legislation to allow it to be grown.
“With the popularity of hemp products on the rise paired with the demand for locally grown and produced goods, we’d foresee a very viable market for products made from domestic hemp,” added Schweizer.