Industry chief laments 'crap' peat-free composts

Compost producer William Sinclair chief executive Bernard Burns has complained that other members of the growing media industry are giving it a bad reputation by selling "crap" peat-free composts.

Sinclair reported revenue of £21.8m, reflecting a slightly late start to the main selling season this year, and operating profit of £0.44m. Burns said not buying in peat had led to the increased profit, along with a 44 per cent increase in sales of peat-free New Horizon.

But he added: "The difference between a good and bad peat-free compost is so big you can drive a coach and horses between them. The industry is doing itself a disservice by continuing to sell crap peat-free. Just look at the results."

He said in five years "growers have gone from using completely peat to being willing to consider it".

He added: "If the Government is serious about stopping the use of peat in horticulture it is going to have to ban it." But he said there was no "compelling argument" yet that meant peat should be banned.

On 21 June Sinclair will launch a low-salt, lightweight, green compost made from a new process using amenity recycling plants' clippings that were previously, at more than 10mm, too big to use.

Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Before commenting please read our rules for commenting on articles.

If you see a comment you find offensive, you can flag it as inappropriate. In the top right-hand corner of an individual comment, you will see 'flag as inappropriate'. Clicking this prompts us to review the comment. For further information see our rules for commenting on articles.

comments powered by Disqus

Read These Next

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Is local 'reveg' a commercial opportunity in the UK?

Botanist Dr Trevor Dines suggests there are commercial opportunities for local seed supply in the UK.

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

What next for Bunnings UK after massive write-down?

Australian analysts suggest Wesfarmers could pull out of the UK following the continued woes of Bunnings/Homebase UK & Ireland, but is there a way forward for the 250-store DIY/garden centre group?

Business planning - cash-flow management

Business planning - cash-flow management

Wider market volatility can have a big impact on cash flow but there are ways to avoid problems, Neville Stein explains.

Follow us on:
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
  • Google +
Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 100 GARDEN CENTRES 2017

See our exclusive ranking of garden centre performance by annual turnover. 

Garden Centre Prices

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world

Read more Peter Seabrook articles

Neville Stein

Business advice from Neville Stein, MD of business consultancy Ovation

Read latest articles


Free to subscribers, the essential guide for professional plant buyers

Download your copy