Growing media firm Humax representative Simon Wakefield said: "Interest is growing in peat-free, but the targets are unrealistic - there's no chance they'll be met."
Northern Ireland-based Clover Peat sales manager Andrew Mather said: "We do peat-free and peat-reduced lines, but there's not a huge demand. Customers are not saying: 'We've gone peat-free.'"
And William Sinclair Horticulture technical marketing manager Andrea Marshall said: "It's really only people like the National Trust and some local authorities that ask for peat-free, though others are reducing their peat use year-by-year."
Peat-free products manufacturer Melcourt's research and development co-ordinator Catherine Dawson is chairman of the HTA- sponsored Growing Media Initiative, which aims to reduce peat use in the industry. She said: "There's a lot of confusion. A lot of consumers buy on price. But research has shown that consumers don't realise what's in a bag of compost, so they don't know to ask for alternatives."
Companies like B&Q, she added, are becoming more interested in peat-free. "They're tending not to offer a choice ... but simply a peat-reduced product, so deciding on the consumer's behalf."
The DIY retail chain last year committed itself to eventually eliminating peat from its products.