Peat Briefing for Stakeholders
This briefing has been created for stakeholders to outline the HTA's position on peat and our key asks for the Government
The use of peat in horticulture is a complex issue and one that has significant consequences for the present and future outlook of the industry. Peat has been used by the industry for decades it has unique nutritional and moisture retention qualities for use as a growing media for flora of all kinds. Some plant types and species require peat and others will not perform well without the substance.
The industry recognises the carbon absorption qualities of peatlands and as such has undertaken to transition to a peat-free future. Led by the HTA, the industry is now at an historic low of peat-use. However, to be able to fully achieve this aspiration, R&D trials must be carried out on the 1000’s of plant types and species to ensure peat-free mixes will produce flora at the quality and quantity required to meet market demands and environmental targets. Having enough time to develop these new growing media is essential to the health of the industry and everything that it contributes to.
Defra had initially indicated a 2030 peat ban date for professional growers, but has since changed the intended date to 2026 – this is deeply damaging to the prospects of horticulture businesses across the UK. Many indicate they will need to downsize, will be limited in what they can grow or even close their business. Moreover, a ban on imports from countries still using peat will see a significant market contraction, a rise in costs and empty shelves in garden centres.
We urge key-decision makers across the UK to understand the genuine timeframes required and support horticulture businesses with R&D funding to fully transition away from using peat.
1. To deliver on a 2030 professional ban by:
2. To ensure the transition away from peat keeps Britain’s horticulture and gardening industry globally competitive and on a level playing field with other horticultural markets and reflects the reality of our sector as one with significant global trading relationships in plants and plant products.
3. To provide increased R&D grant funding to conduct trials, access alternatives, and develop new peat-free supply chains.
The latest Growing Media Monitor report highlights the horticulture industry's dedication to becoming peat-free. B
In the latest episode of the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) podcast, Hort-Talk, Mike Burks (Managing Director of The Gardens Group), Natalie Porter (Sales Director at Happy Plants Ltd), Ben Malin (Managing Director of E J Godwins) and David Lydiat (Public Affairs & Policy Manager at the HTA) discuss the complexities of peat
New data from the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) shows there is likely to be a severe impact on plant availability after recent government indications that a ban on professional peat use in the horticultural industry will be brought forward by four growing seasons.
This week, MPs have been raising their concerns in Parliament about the intended ban on the professional use of peat being brought forward by four years.
The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) has set out a detailed response to the Scottish Government Consultation on Ending the Sale of Peat, representing the views from the breadth of its 1,400-strong membership – from growers to landscapers, retailers to manufacturers.
28 April 2023 Tune into Gardeners’ World on BBC Two at a slightly later time this evening (Friday, 28 April) at 9pm, as Arit Anderson investigates what a proposed ban on peat means for the industry and gardeners alike.
27 April 2023 Initial results from a new report produced by the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) and members of its specialist group, the Growing Media Association (GMA), reveal a significant decline in the use of peat in environmental horticulture.
26 April 2023 The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) Chairman James Barnes, and Director of Public Affairs, Jennifer Pheasey today (26 April) attended a Defra Ministerial Roundtable, with Trudy Harrison MP.
27 March 2023 The Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) hosted a town hall meeting with more than 100 sector professionals to discuss last week's decision by the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) regarding the ban on peat.
23 March 2023 James Barnes, Chairman, HTA commented: “UK growers are absolutely behind the sustainable transition from peat-use. A decision from Defra on the ban dates has been long-awaited. The Government’s original ambition was for England to be peat free by 2030. Although challenging, this date was accepted as creating the time to have a workable transition away from peat.”
21 February 2023 Jennifer Pheasey, the HTA’s Director of Public Affairs, commented: “The horticulture sector has been working hard to develop alternative professional solutions to using peat in growing media and is committed to becoming 100% peat free."
“The horticulture sector in Scotland and the rest of the UK supports the move away from peat. We will engage with this consultation on behalf of our members who have already made great strides in transitioning away from the use of peat; we are now at an historic low as a proportion of peat use for the industry (30% in bagged compost at retail and 51.7% in professional use).