Speaking at a recent technical open day held by growing media manufacturer Melcourt, B&Q social responsibility adviser George Padelopoulos said the company's peat usage was 57 per cent, failing to meet its original target for 90 per cent peat reduction by 2010.
"Over the past few years we have begun to see a drop-off in the volume of peat we use and the level of alternatives has gone up," he added. "Only one-tenth of the growing media we report is based on what our growers use and the drop-off has not been down to any changes in our growers but based on the changes we have made to the bagged growing media."
He said the company's peat-reduction focus had primarily been on reducing peat use in bagged media, but future targets would incorporate peat use by growers.
"From our perspective, we need to start putting more effort into working with the suppliers and manufacturers in getting both these lines going in the right way," Padelopoulos added.
"Rather than setting a target, we have said at a company level that the Government is going to be seeing the targets and we will then have to decide how that pans out. The growers can't do it on their own and we will work in partnership."
B&Q SUPPLIER SCENARIOS
Total peat usage by growers in peat:alternatives ratio:
Pack bedding grower 1 - 87:13
Pack bedding grower 2 - 70:30
Nursery pot bedding grower - 65:35
Pre-pack grower - 62:38
Nursery stock grower - 51:49.