It is the first time that data on the horticultural peat and growing media business and its socio-economic impact has been published in such a comprehensive way. The study said European horticulture has a turnover of EUR60bn (£46.9bn) and employs 750,000 people. It said peat represents 69 per cent of the amateur gardener and 86 per cent of the professional growing media markets.
Socio-economic impact of the peat and growing media industry on horticulture in the EU, commissioned by the European Peat & Growing Media Association (EPAGMA) and published by Luxembourg-based marketing consultancy Co Concept, found peat is significant "due to its unparallelled properties for stimulating plant growth".
EPAGMA chairman Matti Hilli said: "This is the first time that the importance of the peat and growing media industry for the socio-economic development of the horticulture sector has been demonstrated.
"Most of the horticultural peat producers in the EU are small to medium-sized firms based in rural areas where peat reserves are located, so socio-economic benefits are all the more important."