My name is Kate Carmody. I live in Beal and I am an organic farmer, cheesemaker, environmentalist and social activist. My qualification background is principally in Biochemistry/ Biomedical Science/ Social Science and Corporate Governance. I have minor awards in health and safety, artisan food systems, quality systems and accreditation.
I hold the environment seat, on the Quality of Life Committee of the Kerry PPN and I am Chairperson of the KSPCA.
I have over 30 years’ experience in rural development issues and I am a regular commentator on rural development and agricultural issues in the media. More recently, I have been a partner in the TRADEIT project, an FP7 research project.
Since then I have been actively involved in other EU projects as I like to find solutions to our many problems in rural areas. I believe that we need to create an empowering socio-economic model to engage farmers in the BBI JU.
I am a member of 2 EIP AGRI Focus Groups. 35 & 37.
Working as an engineer for 15 years but decided to upskill and went on to do a degree in food science followed by a Masters in food Business Management in TUD.
Coming from a farming background in Tipperary, I had witnessed the frustration in the industry and especially the beef industry so I wanted to focus my thesis on an alternative option for the average farmer and also wanted it to be a sustainable option. This led me in the direction of hemp and my thesis was entitled “Hemp growing as an alternative income for Irish farmers”.
My first port of call was to get in touch with the Hemp Co-op whom I found to be very helpful and since I found the subject matter so interesting and the people involved very friendly I decided to join the Co-op after I had finished my studies. I strongly believe in the Co-op model and it’s my opinion that if farmers are united, they will be a force to be reckoned with and will hopefully prevent the industry going down the same route as beef farming and ending up in the wrong hands.
Carpenter, Hempcrete builder and Qualified Raw Vegan Chef.
Has had an interest in hemp and all its facets for over 10 years now.
Then first getting involved in the hemp industry in 2013 when commissioned to build a hempcrete extension.
Since then went on to co create and open The Hemp Kitchen, an organic vegan coffee and juice bar in the heart of Dublin
Laura Jayne Foley
Laura Jayne Foley is the co-founder of Canabaoil Ltd. A company on the West Coast of Ireland, processing Cannabidiol for the wholesale ingredient market.
Laura is passionate about hemp and it’s ability to remediate the soil while providing a vital alternative crop for Irish farmers. Laura Jayne graduated with a Masters in Agricultural Innovation from the National University of Ireland, Galway and is also a member of the Irish Hemp industry steering group.
Dr. Robert Johnson
Dr. Robert Johnson has been working in Ireland since 2010 as Research & Development Manager for Arigna Fuels, Co. Roscommon. He completed his Ph.D in biomass thermal conversion at the Energy Research Institute (ERI) at the University of Leeds in 2012. Robert has over 26 years’ industrial experience in research, pharmaceutical and large scale production environments and works both autonomously and collaboratively with academic/ industrial partners in Ireland and abroad to improve the viability of biomass as a fossil fuel replacement and mitigate CO2 emissions.
David is co-founder of Hemp Heros and a business consultant working in finance and emerging technologies.Coming from a business background he has a Masters in Management Consulting from Smurfit business school and was awarded the Aspire Scholarship.
David is passionate about the Hemp Industry and the huge potential it has to change how we do business and disrupt industries.
Nick McKeown is a Chartered Accountant with a background in corporate finance and received his B.Comm from UCD in 2009. He is currently working as the group financial controller of a building products manufacturer and distributor.
Nick has been growing hemp on his family farm in Co. Tyrone since 2020 and recognises that hemp and flax have a rich history in Ireland and he believes there is a real prospect of reviving a flourishing hemp industry.
Nick sees the need to move to a more sustainable way of living and believes that hemp can address a lot of Irelands environmental issues and it can help meet carbon targets through carbon sequestration. He particularly sees opportunities for sustainable products within the construction and textiles industries and is well placed to help develop the infrastructure for the Irish hemp industry.
Freya has always loved hemp, as it seemed to answer all the pressing environmental and agricultural questions. Early on, Freya became vegan, started to wear only hand-me-downs, dumpster diving her way through college to reduce waste, tried planting vegetables on the balcony. Industrial animal agriculture, soil degradation and a staggering global plastic problem were hard to avoid participating in!
Hemp- with all it’s environmental, agricultural, and purely cultural benefits- is the solution to the climate crisis, and the animal agriculture trap; it is exciting enough to attract young farmers. The plastic problem and the wasteful textile industry have hemp-based solutions too!
Following a year of permaculture and regenerative farming, Freya spent four years at Trinity College Dublin studying Earth Science. After a tumultuous 2020 graduation, Freya became Biodiversity Officer at an estate in County Mayo, where opportunities abounded. Two acres of hemp were sown in 2021, and the Hemp Cooperative was so helpful and generous with their time that when a position on the board opened up, she couldn’t resist joining in and working with this amazing organisation.
Dr. Tom Woodley
(Special Advisor to the Board)
Tom Woolley B.Arch., PhD is an architect and environmental researcher living in County Down Northern Ireland and working for Rachel Bevan Architects. He is known for his work on sustainability, building materials and low impact construction. A graduate of Edinburgh University, he was Professor of Architecture at Queens University Belfast from 1991 to 2007and is a visiting Professor at the Centre for Alternative Technology. He is Chair of the UK Clean Air Steering Committee.
Tom Woolley has published widely on construction, planning, housing, green architecture and buildings and health, including the Green Building Handbook, Natural Building, Hemp and Lime Construction and Low Impact Building, Building Materials, Health and Indoor Air Quality and most recently Thermal Insulation Materials. Tom has spoken at numerous conferences and workshops around the world including Canada, South Africa, Malaysia, Holland, Austria, Denmark, Sweden, Poland and Chile.
He carries out research and consultancy on the circular economy, innovative sustainable construction methods including natural building and indoor air quality. He has been chair of the Northern Ireland Building Regulations Advisory Committee and on the board of the Chartered Institute of Housing, the Ballynahinch Credit Union and the Drumlin Wind Co-operative. He is a member of the UK Indoor Environment group and the Fuel Poverty Research Network and has carried out a number of studies investigating ways to improve indoor air quality.
Tom is a consultant to ECOS, the European Environmental Citizens Organisation for Standards and represents them on a range EU sustainability standards working groups.
Tom has been active in the co-operative movement since the 1970s when he established an architect’s co-operative and the community technical aid movement. He has worked with a wide range of co-operative housing groups and is a member of the Irish Hemp Co-operative
Become A Member
€100 per year
Becoming a member of the Hemp Cooperative of Ireland means you are joining the largest members organisation dedicated to the development of the Hemp Industry in Ireland. Membership provides a numbers of benefits including access to technical and agronomy advice.