If you’re a fan of hemp bedding, you’ve most likely come across Aubiose. Perhaps you’re already using this unique hemp product in your chicken coop, horse stall, or pet cage, and you’ve already seen the magic of this product in its most direct form: first hand experience.

However, even if you are indeed one of these convinced users of this product, we still have you in mind when writing this article, which was written to provide further background about the Aubiose Bedding brand, it’s history, and direction.

If you are an animal lover who is new to hemp bedding, welcome! We hope you also enjoy this article, which is really somewhat of an overal history of hemp, since the history of Aubiose and the history of hemp in general are so closely intertwined, as we shall see!

Ordering Aubiose Bedding in USA

If you’re just getting started or looking for more informtion, you can learn about using hemp bedding for your animals- and how it can truly change your life!- by clicking here (horses), here (chickens & poultry), or here (small pets). We will publish more detailed information about other animals soon, and continually update this website!

To order Aubiose hemp bedding, please click here,

Or to request a quote for wholesale orders, please Request a Quote Here.

We (American Natural Materials, formerly known as Chanvra Materials) are the traditional importer of the Aubiose Bedding product; we have been selling this product since 2017! You may have purchased from us at our old web-home (www.aubiose.us); that website and domain has now been merged with the official aubiose.org, owned by Aubiose themselves! We are not the owner of the brand, we are simply the licensed USA seller of the product in its economical 20kg format. So who actually owns the brand?? 700+ farmers!!! Aubiose is a farmer owned brand, and we are going to tell you their story, which will explain just why the Aubiose brands (including AubiChick) are so good!

Aubiose Bedding Explained

There is nothing like walking into a horse barn that’s been bedded with fresh Aubiose. It’s not what you would expect when you walk into a barn! It’s the unique absorbency of the Aubiose product. It keeps the surface clean and pulls the moisture below, where it can be easily removed as the bedding slowly expires. So it smells fresh, a sign of healthy levels of moisture and that the hemp is regulating the moisture from urine, keeping the barn clean and overall not what you would expect to see and breathe when you walk into a horse barn! And best of all there’s no lingering dust in the barn.  Descriptions don’t do the whole experience justice, as our fans know, and it’s worth seeing in person!

We’ve written a lot about the what: what the product does. Now, we want to tell you more about the how & why; the science and inspirational story behind this incredible product.

Our original idea was to build a market for hemp products to prove the viability of growing hemp in America. We tried many different suppliers while we were figuring things out, and we learned a lot. It was 2017 when we first decided to give Aubiose a try. At first, the only thing we knew was that we liked them better. They were very kind and enthusiastic! But when we actually received the product, we were shocked at how clean it was compared to the products we had been buying from the Netherlands. “Who are these guys??” we asked ourselves. To us, at first, it was just another hemp company- albeit much friendlier and easier to work with! But after seeing and feeling the product, we started asking questions, and the story we discovered was astonishing.

Aubiose Bedding Horse

The main secret to the amazing quality of Aubiose was that the farmers had never stopped growing industrial hemp! Unlike most of the world, France never made true hemp cultivation illegal. Now, all natural fiber production struggled anyways; this is a process that began in the industrial revolution. Even in France, the hemp industry was almost dead by the 1960’s. The fact that the Aubiose farmers managed to continue to cultivate hemp into the present day is a truly fascinating story that defied all odds- indeed, it is due to these farmers that we have a modern hemp industry at all! Here is the story.

Some Aubiose Bedding & Overall Hemp History

Aubiose is produced by a group of farmers who organized themselves around a cooperative model, and it was the farmers themselves who invested in the equipment necessary for processing the hemp stalks. To this day this facility is 100% owned and controlled by the farmers themselves. In 1987, the cooperative introduced a production agreement with its farmers by establishing payment linked to quality. This is the only system of it’s kind in all of Europe and perhaps the entire world, and partially explains the consistency of quality and specification that our customers have become so used to.

As most of our readers know, industrial hemp is one of mankind’s oldest crops, and has been cultivated for almost as long as agriculture itself has existed.

Aubiose Bedding

However, what is happening today, with all of the rage for hemp bedding, is essentially a new step in hemp’s long history. Never before have the pure hemp hurds– formerly a waste product– been utilized at such a scale. This is the first time that a true hemp hurd industry has emerged. This is a strong statement, since, as we’ve said- true hemp has a long history in mankind’s agricultural development, going back thousands of years. But for most of that history, the primary use of the hemp stalk has been for textiles.

Hemp textiles are made by stripping the “bark” of the hemp plant from the inner woody core. This “inner wordy core” in the case of the hemp plant, is popularly known as “hemp hurds”. But these were not the material our ancestors sought; it was the bark (or “bast”) itself that was important to them. This “bast” or “bark” material is what we commonly refer to as “hemp fiber” and is what is used for textiles. The hemp hurds / inner woody core were generally a waste product for most of history.

The process of separating the bast fiber from the woody core was expensive and labor intensive. The hemp plant is a tough plant to work with! (Talk to Us before growing industrial hemp!) It was not until the modern day that this process- known as “decortication”(to “de-core” or remove the core / the hemp hurds) was actually perfected. The most fundamental contributor was Aubiose!

The birth of the Aubiose brand was the first time an actual viable market for the “hemp core” or hemp hurds was created. This was a huge step in the development of a modern hemp industry, because it meant there was now no waste, and the entire plant could be sold! It was a more profitable way of farming hemp, which was viable and competitive in the difficult market of the 20th-21st centuries.

The brand quickly caught on in France for horses- and soon after in England, which became the largest consumer of hemp bedding, even compared to France. After receiving recommendations from veterinarians, it was not long before the product became popular for all kinds of animals.

We want to truly emphasize how fascinating and miraculous this great “comeback” of hemp was. The way the trend was going after the industrial revolution, we shouldn’t have a hemp industry at all!

The Decline of Hemp and the Rise of Aubiose Bedding in France

Our friend Andre Ravachol, in his article series about the history of hemp in France, covered the decline of hemp in detail. There was much more to the decline than simply “laws”. It was actually in the 19th century when hemp production truly began to decline; long before the introduction of the infamous “Marihuana Tax Act”. For example, by 1914, there 14 times fewer cultivated acres of industrial hemp than in 1841.1

There were a few reasons for this. One key reason was the replacement of natural fibers with synthetic fibers for making rope. Another key reason was the replacement of sailing navigation for steam propulsion, since sails were a common outlet for hemp. Competition from exotic imported natural fibers also played a part.

According to Emmanuel Brouard, who wrote the article “Rise and decline of hemp in the 19th century”, (and who M. Ravachol interviewed in his research): “the economic crisis of the 1880s led to a poor sale of hemp, all the more so as imports tended to increase sharply, so outlets were reduced. Farmers in the Anjou valley are therefore massively converting to seed production, particularly beets. But this reconversion has been planned for a long time: seed production and horticulture have been developing since the middle of the century. Hemp cultivation declined less sharply in the Loire valley to the west of Ponts de Cé (Chalonnes, Montjean), which then became the new hemp-growing heart of Anjou”.

traditional hemp farming

Aubiose Bedding Cooperative

Aubiose Bedding History

Aubiose Bedding History: Map of Hemp Cultivation in France, 1838

Aubiose Bedding History: Map of Hemp Cultivation in France, 1838

The growth of synthetic industries in both World Wars only continued this downward trend for hemp, and all of these pressures effectively killed textile hemp production in France.

However, somehow a hemp industry survived. Since, as we mentioned, the hemp textile industry had been completely killed in France, the only remaining outlet at that time was the paper market!  Meeting the needs of the paper industry after WW2 was what essentially gave form to what would become the Aubiose cooperative. In the 1960’s, it was still a group of less than one hundred loosely organized farmers. They delivered all of their hemp straw to – a single paper pulp factory called SA des Papeteries BOLLORÉ which was the exclusive customer for their hemp.

The Bollore company has an interesting history. They are the creators of the famous OCB rolling paper which was launched in 1918. By 1947 they were the exclusive suppliers for the American cigarette brands Camel, Chesterfield, Philip Morris, & Old Gold. These papers were indeed made with hemp and linen, though a large portion of the material came from old rags and sails, made from hemp and linen, that had reached the “end of their life”!2

Aubiose Bedding History & OCB

But much of the Bollore hemp was freshly cultivated by the Aubiose farmers themselves.

When the Bollores factory in Troyes closed, the Aubiose farmers were determined to carry on farming hemp. It was on February 15th, 1973, that the farmers decided to form their own organized cooperative. By 1977 the number of farmers in the cooperative had grown to 273; their focus was still the paper market. It was in 1985 when they entered the horse bedding market and the AUBIOSE brand was finally created.

Today, the idea of making a highly marketable product out of hemp hurds has caught on, and, inspired by Aubiose, a number of new producers have entered the hemp bedding market. But Aubiose was the bedding that started it all! Today the cooperative is still committed to ecological agricultural practices, and this is the main factor that cements our bond with them. The farmers cultivate various types of soil, using methods of Biodiversity and Ecosystems: no pesticides and no irrigation.

So where is this all leading?? We did not team up with Aubiose simply to import and sell a product. We believe in this style of agriculture. And we think the USA hemp industry has a long way to go. So why not build on the success of what we have seen already works? Our “Transitional supply chain” strategy is about just that, recreating the success of Aubiose in France and bringing it to America.

The purpose of the Hemp Bedding Initiative (hempbedding.org) is to generate massive demand for hemp hurds, particularly hemp bedding for animals. The idea is a part of the greater Transitional Supply Chain strategy to recreate the French hemp success on American soil. Since a lack of active markets is the #1 thing holding hemp back, the best thing we can do to encourage hemp farming in America is create a massive market for hemp bedding. Since there is so much potential for growth and so many more people out there who can benefit from it! And as we’ve seen, there is no better brand to do it with than Aubiose.

Today, we are actively seeking farmers and processors to partner with to produce the Aubiose brand in America! Do you want to be involved?

We are American Natural Materials, formerly known as Chanvra Materials, the official and exclusive distributor of the Aubiose and AubiChick products in their original 20 kg format.

Thanks for reading! We look forward to growing with you.

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Aubiose Bedding Cooperative

Industrial Hemp | American Natural Materials | Aubiose

Aubiose Bedding Dog Herself

And here’s the best Dog there ever was…doin permaculture and stuff.