No fear of peat shortage even after poor harvest

The poorest peat harvest in Scotland and Ireland for the past three years will not lead to shortages, but producers and retailers are looking at changing ingredients to meet market demand.

Harper: no supply issue
Harper: no supply issue

Sinclair's Richard Gianfancesco said harvests have been hit by bad weather, particularly in Scotland. But Sinclair's new owner Westland, which now has Sinclair's bogs in Scotland as well as its own in Ireland, said there was enough peat available for 2016 even before it bought Sinclair this summer.

Growing Media Association chair Steve Harper said: "I have spoken to all of the major players in the industry. The general consensus is that although the peat harvest this year has been a little behind the average given two previous good years, there is absolutely no issue with supply for 2016."

Westland Horticulture has replaced SuperFyba green waste with its wood fibre West+ product in Sinclair composts. "Dropping green waste doesn't surprise me," said Andy Chalmers, managing director at bark and wood compost maker Melcourt. "It could be a good thing for the industry."

He added: "Green waste should not be in top-end gardening product. Westland Horticulture has always used wood fibre. They will sort out Sinclair. Westland has made a good job, with high market penetration, but if they are too big that gives us an opportunity. We have had our best year in 30 years."

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