In a world that often focuses on conflict and division, the unique story of Cânhamor, an innovative hemp block business established by two Israelis and two Palestinians in southern Portugal, stands out as an inspiring lesson in collaboration and eco-friendliness. Combining their passion for sustainable construction with an eco-conscious approach, these four entrepreneurs embarked on a journey to create a future where nature is treated with respect.
Seeds of Change: The Genesis of Cânhamor
In late 2020, Palestinians Khalid Mansour and Azmi Afifi bought land in the Alentejo region of Portugal to fulfill their dream of creating an innovative and sustainable construction solution using the versatile hemp plant. In 2021, they met Israeli partners who shared their vision for natural and responsible building materials. Together, they founded Cânhamor. Their goal was clear: to produce hemp blocks with a negative carbon footprint that cherish local resources while providing a strong and eco-friendly alternative to common construction practices.
From Plant to Block: Rethinking Material Production Processes
Understanding the importance of working locally, the team at Cânhamor developed a formula that combined hemp plants with Portuguese limestone and clay to create a sturdy, lightweight, fire-resistant, acoustically insulated, and highly thermally insulated construction material. Recognizing that cement and other non-natural additives could compromise the ecological aspects of their product, they chose to allow the blocks to dry and cure naturally over 60 days – a significant logistical challenge but one necessary to maintain their commitment to quality and sustainability.
Supporting Local Farmers and the Portuguese Hemp Industry
The founders of Cânhamor believe in driving local growth and, therefore, aim to work within Portugal using the country’s resources to create a truly waste-free business. Currently, they import hemp from France due to a lack of processing machinery in Portugal. The team is working on purchasing and assembling the necessary equipment in their factory to use exclusively Portuguese hemp, thus supporting local producers and expanding the entire hemp industry within the region.
Building a Greener Future: Expanding Operations and Offering Complete Solutions
Working closely with local authorities, Cânhamor is developing strategies to construct a large-scale factory in Alentejo, which will increase production capacity, generate more employment opportunities, and contribute to creating a zero-waste industry. The company also plans to purchase an industrial decorticator, enabling them to buy hemp crops directly from local farmers. This will provide a seamless solution, in line with their slogan “from seed to block,” making the entire supply chain local and sustainable. Cânhamor aims to support farmers throughout the cultivation process by facilitating licensing, seed purchases, and machine rentals, as well as crop harvesting, maceration, and transportation.
Making a Difference: A Triumph of Collaboration and Ideals in a World of Divisive Forces
The powerful story of two Israelis and two Palestinians coming together to create a successful hemp block business in Portugal serves as a potent reminder that even in today’s polarized society, collaborations based on shared values and ideals are not only possible but can be incredibly fruitful. Through their passion for sustainability, these four entrepreneurs have forged an alliance that extends beyond borders and presents an exemplary model for future generations determined to make a positive impact on our planet.
Inspired by their vision and commitment, Cânhamor stands as a beacon of hope that individuals can unite over shared goals and make meaningful change in the world despite deep-seated differences. Their innovative methods and eco-conscious approach towards construction have put them at the forefront of sustainable industry practices while strengthening the ties that bind us all together.