Policy change on agenda for peat-reduction targets

Defra is considering a shift in peat policy to meet 90 per cent reduction targets by splitting targets for industrial and domestic use.

Land management team deputy director Neil Hornby was due to host a meeting on the subject at RHS Horticultural Halls on Wednesday (11 November).

HTA business development director and Growing Media Association (GMA) manager Tim Briercliffe was to speak about the issues for the industry in relation to the target. He said availability, cost, quality and consumer demand are barriers to further change.

"Defra is looking to come up with a way of meeting targets next year. There may not just be one target. The area that is the heaviest user is the retail bagged media and that is also the area that is easier to change than commercial production," said Briercliffe.

"We accept the need for change but don't accept an unreasonable timescale. We need to do things over a sensible period that won't damage the industry.

"We want to help people produce crops. If the consumer is not informed of the differences it might put people off grow-your-own and new gardening and reverse the good things that have happened to get people gardening and the environmental benefits that brings."

Briercliffe, HTA director general David Gwyther and GMA chairman Martin Breddy had a pre-meeting get together with Defra minister Huw Irranca-Davies, focusing on peat, before the industry event.

A Defra representative said: "Defra is in the very early stages of considering options for a potential future target post-2010 when the current voluntary target expires. This will include considering what we want to achieve by setting a new target. The splitting of reduction targets is one option that will be considered."

She added: "Defra is working with industry and retailers in the planning of a consumer campaign on peat, part of the Act on CO2 brand, which will be launched early next year to increase consumers' understanding of peat issues and the alternatives that are on offer."

The most recent data, from 2007, has shown that the market for growing media and soil improvers is 54 per cent peat-free. Defra insisted that there is "no evidence" to suggest that targets have a negative impact on gardening.


Have you registered with us yet?

Register now to enjoy more articles and free email bulletins

Sign up now
Already registered?
Sign in

Read These Next

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Horticulture careers - plugging the skills gap

Bespoke apprenticeships and internal training are helping firms to get ahead in skills-shortage horticulture, says Rachel Anderson.

Tractors: market roundup

Tractors: market roundup

Manufacturers are working to provide solutions to many challenges. Sally Drury looks at their newest models.

Aster

Aster

Brightening up gardens in autumn, these daisies are seen as a gem in the gardener's arsenal, writes Miranda Kimberley.


Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Opinion... Why no-deal Brexit should worry you

Whether you voted leave or remain all those years ago, a "no-deal" Brexit should worry you.

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I will not be importing oaks this season. Will you?

I find myself in a difficult situation. A few weeks ago I was fortunate to be present to hear details of imminent changes to regulations concerning Oak Processionary Moth (OPM) and oak trees. I heard details, asked questions and probed the implications of these changes. That may not sound like a difficult position to be in, yet I am uneasy.

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Opinion... Better targets to tackle pollution

Lobby groups jumping onto fashionable campaigns, often to promote their own interests, can do much more harm than good. Take, for example, the move against black polythene plant pots and containers.


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

HORTICULTURE WEEK BUSINESS Awards 2019

The Horticulture Week Business Awards is now open for entries

Horticulture Jobs
More Horticulture Jobs

Horticulture Week Top 60 Ornamentals nurseries

See our exclusive RANKING of ornamentals nurseries by annual turnover plus the FULL REPORT AND ANALYSIS

Tim Edwards

Boningales Nursery chairman Tim Edwards on the business of ornamentals production
 

Read Tim Edwards

Pest & Disease Tracker bulletin 

The latest pest and disease alerts, how to treat them, plus EAMU updates, sent direct to your inbox.

Sign up here

Are you a landscape supplier?

Horticulture Week Landscape Project Leads

If so, you should be receiving our new service for Horticulture Week subscribers delivering landscape project leads from live, approved, planning applications across the UK.

Peter Seabrook

Inspiration and insight from travels around the horticultural world
 

Read more Peter Seabrook articles