Sustainable bioproducts

Agricultural products have been used for millenia for non-food purposes, including solid fuel, fibres, lighting, medicines, dyes, bedding and furniture products, clothing, inks and paper and cosmetics. More recently, more technologically sophisticated applications have emerged including plastics and advanced industrial materials, liquid fuels and .....

Bioproducts from waste discussed under Goal 5 Reducing waste.

There is debate about what a sustainable bioeconomy and its products should achieve, but it must certainly be more than technology and supply side driven (cf. Wilke, U., Schlaile, M.P., Urmetzer, S. et al. Time to Say ‘Good Buy’ to the Passive Consumer? A Conceptual Review of the Consumer in the Bioeconomy. J Agric Environ Ethics 34, 20 (2021); Levidow, L., Birch, K., & Papaioannou, T. (2013). Divergent paradigms of European agro-food innovation. Science, Technology, and Human Values, 38, 94–125). As such, consistent with the conceptual frameworks of this site, it should fit within a demand-supply coordination framework (see Goal 2) and contribute to the achievement of sustainable, health and equity.  As such, it must not compromise objectives regarding food, water and biodiversity.

Cereal straw - first for soil cover and integration, next for bedding and compost, then for industrial purposes.  Much depends on the region, the varieties grown and how much straw is produced. Crop-livestock integration is a critical question. An Alberta agronomist, Ieuan Evans, estimates you need $12000 in compensation for a 60 bu wheat crop because of the all the nutrients in the straw (1.5-2 tonnes / ac). Increasing organic matter 1% will add 4 bu canola and 5 bu wheat in a dry year. 16 reasons why never to sell straw (Briere, K. 2021. Straw: hang on to it or sell it? WP  June 24, p. 1)

Hemp - legalized again in 1998 after years of being banned because of connections to cannabis. Can be used for food, oil, clothing, medicinal purposes (CBD), cosmetics, livestock feed, cat litter and animal bedding, and fibres.  Good rotational crop, doesn't require alot of nutrients, helps break pest cycles.  About 1000 farmers and 55,000 acres on the Prairies (way below industry expectations) but requires a license from Health Canada. HC also has to approve cultivars. Peaked at 140,000 acres across Canada in 2017, in part because of exports to South Korea which suddenly collapsed in the face of ramped up Chinese production. Prairies grow 90% of acres. Exports of hemp to the US are difficult because of a hodge podge of state rules on transport. Shortage of processing facilities (Arnason, R. 2021. Hemp's full potentisl yet to be realized. WP Aug. 12, p.1)