Is the peat-reduction target achievable by 2030?

Horticulture Week polled industry figures at a recent Melcourt technical day.

"I would hope it would be. We need a target, that's for sure, otherwise we will never get there.

"If we have a look at it we have been, for at least a decade, looking at alternatives to peat. And if you look back at the research, we have been looking at it for a long time. Putting a date to it is good.

"We don't all want to use peat any more, so putting the 2030 date on it should be possible - we should be aiming towards that."

- Nick Morgan, glasshouse specialist, RHS

"The research that the Government has conducted in setting that target is based on solid evidence and what that then leads to is an opportunity for manufacturers, growers and retailers to innovate and to move forwards and to meet the Government's aspirations.

"This is the time for the industry as a whole to voice its opinions and these will be reflected in Government policy coming out in the white paper - that's going to set Government policy for the next five years."

- George Padelopoulos, social responsibility adviser, B&Q

"Yes - we recognise that it's a bit challenging and it will certainly take all of us working together, but hopefully we are going to put in place the right building blocks that will help us get there.

"The approach is different - the previous target was one that many people didn't know about whereas this target should hopefully be better known and better supported.

"We are proposing to set up a task force to create a road map to a peat-free future for professional horticulture and to come up with action-orientated recommendations for different ways of getting there."

- Judith Stuart soils policy specialist, Defra

"Yes - 2030 is 20 years off. There might always be a very small residual peat use but in general terms I think that by then it will be possible.

"By then the debate about peat will have been going for more years than we have been using peat. In some countries that don't have their own peat, they have been using bark products and whatever is available there. People should try and promote themselves from the campaign - market being peat-free."

- Catherine Dawson, technical director, Melcourt.


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