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HTA response to Ten-Minute Rule Motion on the prohibition of the sale of peat

16 April 2024 

Fran Barnes, Chief Executive of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA), responds to the outcome of Theresa Villiers MP's Ten-Minute Rule Motion on the prohibition of the sale of peat.

“The Horticultural Trades Association and wider environmental horticulture sector have been working incredibly hard to transition away from peat use. At current reduction rates, with an estimated 10% or less of peat in bags of compost in 2023, the sector is already heading close to zero by the end of this year. This decrease is attributed to the collaborative efforts of UK suppliers, retailers and gardeners to adopt peat-free practices.

“Therefore, we find it curious that parliamentary time was given to something already happening. The industry is on track to phase out peat use in bags of compost in retail settings without the need for legislation.

“We urge MPs, who will debate this subject at its second reading, to give in-depth consideration to the UK’s tree and plant growers and allow them the time and grant support for trials, equipment and analysis towards a 2030 deadline for peat-free growing (with the notable exceptions needed for conservation reasons). Some of our grower members have already made the transition to peat-free, while others are still on this complex journey with thousands of different plant species being propagated. With the right support, we can eventually achieve this milestone; without support, there will be a significant contraction in the plants and trees that British environmental horticulture will be able to produce.”


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