Growing media responsible sourcing scheme to launch

The GMA (Growing Media Association) and the HTA will launch the pilot Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media at the National Plant Show on 20 June.

Paul Alexander, head of Horticultural and Environmental Science for the RHS and Neil Bragg, director of Bulrush Horticulture will speak to manufacturers and retailers on the issues surrounding sourcing.

The purpose of the scheme is to "steadily introduce and increase an awareness of manufacturers’ impact upon the environment as a result of choices made regarding the components used in growing media".

The scheme will enable those manufacturers wishing to participate the ability to measure the components that make up particular products, enter those results into a calculator, which will then inform the manufacturer of their environmental impact.

GMA chairman Steve Harper said: "We are launching the pilot scheme at the National Plant Show to give everyone the opportunity to come and talk to us and sign-up to be kept informed about the scheme as it progresses.

"The pilot scheme itself is is a very gentle first step in understanding what the situation is within the industry, and giving those who want them the tools to scientifically analyse the components within the volume and type of growing media.  The longer term ambition is that manufacturers and retailers, as they understand the impact upon the environment, take steps to reduce their own footprint and join the audited scheme."

Scotts Miracle-Gro general manager Sheila Hill said: "The responsible sourcing pilot scheme is a practical first step in testing the water for the levels of interest in the growing media calculator, and how it will work in practice.

"This is a scheme that we are keen for the industry to embrace in order to proactively understand and manage the impact of their own growing media production.  We urge all manufacturers and retailers to engage in this issue now, and welcome everybody to be part of the conversation."

The collated results will be analysed by the Steering Board of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme to understand the industry’s use of diluents in growing media.  The launch will call on manufacturers and retailers to sign-up to learn more about the scheme at the stand.

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