HO KARAN went to meet Vincent Lartizien, a person who could not be summed up in his titles of surfer-entrepreneur. Today spokesperson for hemp in France, we asked him about his vision of this still underestimated plant.
After being a pioneer in board sports, it is on the way to becoming so for our favorite plant. It brings together as many professionals as possible in the fields of agriculture, the textile industry, and finance, to give hemp the place it deserves. He synthesizes all this thanks to his organization Les Chanvres de l'Atlantique and his brand Nunti Sunya.
Hello Vincent, introduce yourself quickly for readers who don't know you?
I started out as a professional surfer for 30 years. When I was 18, I went to Hawaii to windsurf and then surf. It was the time when these disciplines exploded. Everything was happening there! With the local surfers, we brought this sport back to Europe in the early 2000s. We were the first to discover the big waves here. Over time, they have become the most popular on the planet.
When I returned to France, I took training in energy therapy. I come from a family of surgeons. Focusing on medicine and the human body made sense. I used to hold spreaders for my dad on the OR. If I hadn't been a surfer, I would have ended up in this industry. My goal was to better understand humans and their environment in general. The great Hawaiian doctors I have met have changed my western view of medicine.
As a surfer, I also had my own outlook on things. By adding this perception of the energy flowing through the human body, I was able to understand the mechanics that feed the body. These are issues that do not concern people, although it is the basis of many things. Understanding matter and the human body is essential for medicine. Western medicine goes astray as in other areas of life.
With my entourage, we said to ourselves that we had to put it all right. Something had to be done because the world is turning upside down.
So it was at this precise moment that you discovered hemp?
I had already discovered it through cannabis. He is deeply rooted in the culture of surfing and Hawaii. There, the hippie movement was already very established. Part of this community had arrived because it recognized itself in the values of Hawaii.
Everyone was talking about hemp to save humanity. It stuck in the back of my mind. Then when we were looking for what it took to make a difference in our world, hemp corresponded to our values. It was then discovered why he had been so demonized.
Has it changed your life?
It hasn't changed my life, but it's a logical continuation. The ocean taught me values and brought me back to the land, to the solutions that hemp brings. It represents the future in all areas of life.
So no, it hasn't changed my life, but it guides my life!
Isn't it complicated to think that hemp can solve everything, but that you may lack the means to find all the solutions?
It's simple, I say to myself: "we are going to explore the full potential of this plant"! First there is food, then textiles, construction, etc. We learn from all trades, with people who know what they are talking about. We do not want intermediaries that would disrupt the energy in our end products. We do not want to be dispossessed of the material.
We are farmers ourselves, and work with partner farmers. The same goes for distributors, such as Biocoop. For the financial aspect, we are looking for players in the world of surfing. It's a fair return for what surfing has given.
We can read rumors, more or less founded, saying that Monsanto would be interested in hemp, what do you think?
Monsanto wants it all! Except hemp, anyone can use it, anywhere. Monsanto won't be able to do anything, they are too late. The plant is not for one, it is for all.
Just take inspiration from cannabis. In this industry, everything is open-source. We are following this path.
It's interesting to hear “open-source”. Without the technology, would hemp have been forgotten?
Yes, the evolution is due to the internet. It's a controllers' worst nightmare! No one will be able to take it away from us. If I discover something about this plant, I post it on the internet and the exchange takes place.
We understand very well that your project resonates with people who live in the countryside, or at least close to nature. What about in the cities?
Of course it also resonates in cities. We deliver to all Biocoop for example. The countryside returns to the city. And that will bring other people back to the countryside, because hemp creates trades to reopen the link.
Cities are overcrowded. It took a meaning for people to come back to the countryside. We are in the process of finding this meaning.
Mentalities have changed, slowly of course, but it keeps increasing. Evolution takes place on a global scale, just like surfing in its time! No one had foreseen the explosion of this sport. Today, no one can predict what hemp will cause. Awakening of consciousness is global, it is increasing day by day, like all so-called “underground” phenomena.
Do you feel that? Are you more and more in demand?
All the time ! Lots of people come to see us! By holding open houses, we said to ourselves "no one is going to come"! And in the end we end up with a lot of people asking questions, who immediately understand why we are doing this!
Ten years ago we looked like crazy people, today everyone understands. We are talking about energy, policies, etc. Everyone realizes, thanks to the net once again, that we are being rolled in the flour and that we can get by without large organizations.
Citizens can take care of themselves as they see fit.
Before closing, what would you say to people new to hemp today?
Go on the internet, type "hemp" out of curiosity. It is the plant most connected to humans! It is a whole and perfect plant.
We thank Vincent Lartizien for his time, his knowledge and above all his passion! We still have so many questions to ask him ...
You can follow his adventures on his page Facebook. In ten years you will be able to say “I have been following it from the start! ".