William Sinclair confirms poor peat harvest

William Sinclair's trading update on 2 August blames "exceptionally unfavourable weather" for continued suppression of consumer activity and poor peat harvesting operations in Cumbria and Scotland.

See Peat price increase predicted - HW 27 July.

The company achieved no conventional peat harvest during July. To help manage marginal shortfalls in conventional harvesting caused by poor weather William Sinclair has developed artificial peat drying technologies. But demands placed on it have exceeded its capacity.

A company statement said:

"Following successive failures of conventional harvests and in light of recent refinements to the technology which have reduced the unit cost of production, William Sinclair will now substantially increase its drying capacity by commissioning further drying machines.

"This extra capacity will come on stream in November this year. Under the agreement with Natural England, these machines cannot be located at their most efficient location at Bolton Fell (in Cumbria) and will instead be sited at other peat bogs owned by the company."

The company announced on 20 July 2012 that it had bought a new site at Ellesmere Port for the production of SuperFyba peat-free compost. A second SuperFyba processing line will be commissioned at Ellesmere Port and will comprise a full cleaning line together with two new extruding machines rather than only one.

This will double annual SuperFyba production capacity from the previously reported 150,000 m3 per annum to around 300,000 m3 per annum. This additional capacity will come on stream in December 2012.

Sinclair added:

"The combination of increased SuperFyba production and peat drying will ensure the Company can fulfil its obligations to its customer base over the long term. However because of the time required to establish this production the company will be forced in the very short term to scale back bagging operations and to buy in some peat from third party suppliers at a substantial price premium.

"The inefficiency associated with volume changes and the higher material costs will mean that even with an assumption of normal weather patterns for August and September the company will not now meet the market’s profit expectations for this financial year. While selling prices across the industry are likely to go up, the company will still feel some effect from the shortage of raw materials during the next financial year."

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



The range of colours and flowering times makes for cheerful and economic displays, Miranda Kimberley reports.

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

What can growers do to reduce their use of plastics?

Growers are waking up to the push towards cutting plastic use and are increasingly looking for substitutes and alternative methods.

What does the future hold for online garden retail sales?

What does the future hold for online garden retail sales?

The online garden centre market is often cited as a great growth opportunity for garden centres, but how well are bricks-and-mortar retailers tackling the internet generation?

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