Peat producers welcome BBC Gardeners' World peat special

BBC Gardeners' World special on peat has been welcomed by peat producers.

Irish peat producer Westland's technical director Jamie Robinson, who appeared in the hour-long special, presented by Toby Buckland on 27 March, said:

"I think that the [BBC Gardeners' World] programme worked well and it was a fairly balanced view of the peat issue, even the Minister [Joan Ruddock] recognised what has been achieved and the fact that the [90% by 2010] target may not be met.

Robinson added: "It did discuss some of the issues, particularly the variability in some peat-free products from bag to bag and the fact that use of green waste for seed compost causes problems for gardeners with poor results.

"This convinces me that Westland is taking the right route with all our investment in West+ and the high-performance composts we have produced."

A Scotts Miracle-Gro representative said:

"Scotts was pleased to see Toby Buckland and the BBC providing gardeners with a valuable and balanced update on a complicated topic. Over very many years Scotts has been working with both environmental lobby groups and the garden industry to try to reduce the use of peat by amateur gardeners and professional growers.

"We were one of the first companies to launch peat dilution products and currently offer a very extensive range of alternative peat products. All, bar one, of our growing media products use some recycled materials to replace peat.

"Across our total range, almost half of the material used consists of recycled materials that have gradually replaced peat over the last 10 years. And last year we launched our Miracle Gro Organic Choice range to give consumers a premium product that is 100% peat-free. We are also a founding partner of the horticultural industry's current initiative to promote peat reduction - the Growing Media Initiative.    

"However as policy makers and the environmental lobby groups know - despite the best efforts of the garden industry - converting customers to the newer products has been tough. We welcome the BBC's contribution to the debate as we believe consumer and grower education has to play a major part in this battle."  

For a broader reaction to the programme see Horticulture Week 3 April.


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