A new government consultation, Ending the retail sale of peat in horticulture in England and Wales, launched by Defra and the Welsh government this week, proposes to end the use of peat in 2024 for retail, and for 2028 for commercial growers.
NFU members are being encouraged to share their views on proposals to phase out peat use in horticulture.
How to respond
Here is what we want members to do:
- You can respond to the consultation directly by visiting, Ending the retail sale of peat in horticulture in England and Wales on the GOV.UK website.
- Read our Phasing out the use of peat in commercial horticulture briefing below.
- Visit Reducing peat use: share your views to complete a grower survey – the survey closes 31 Dec 2021.
- Contact the horticulture team at NFU [email protected] to share further supporting evidence.
The industry's Growing Media Taskforce, which the NFU is a member, has highlighted collaboration as the key to solving the issue of peat-use.
Following the launch of the consultation, a statement released by the Growing Media Taskforce calls on Government support to unlock policy barriers to finding the required volume and sufficient quality of alternative materials.
While primarily focused on amateur use (bagged compost), the consultation also seeks to understand the complexities of removing peat from commercial horticulture and is calling for evidence from growers.
Your views matter
Defra is particularly interested in hearing the views in these areas:
- Technical barriers to replacing peat in growing media
- Availability and cost of peat alternatives
- The impact of imports of products from where peat use is permitted
The NFU would welcome evidence from members on these areas as well as additional views regarding how realistic timescales could be achieved.
Research and development
NFU Horticulture and Potatoes Board Chairman, Ali Capper acknowledged that more could be done into research and developments of alternative. She explained, “Businesses want to do the right thing for the environment and have already made steps in finding alternatives to peat use. However, some sectors in commercial horticulture will simply not have alternatives available by the end of this decade and will need a longer transitional period to phasing out peat use.
“Much more can be done with the support of Government to unlock opportunities in research and development of peat alternatives.
“I would encourage all growers to respond as individual businesses to this consultation, as well as feeding views into the NFU response”.