GCA members attend peat meet

MEMBERS of the Garden Centre Association (GCA) recently (June, 2013) attended a meeting to discuss the future of peat.

The meeting, which took place on June 13 at William Sinclair in Ellesmere Port, included a tour of the manufacturing facility and a chance for members to discuss the use of peat.

Chairman of the GCA, Peter Burks explained: ?It was great for our members to have the chance to meet up and have a discussion about peat and peat alternatives.

?We had a big debate on the topic and now we have listened to our members views we will be working with the Horticultural Trades Association (HTA) to develop a policy.?

Carol Paris, Director General of the HTA also attended the event.

Managing Director of Poplars Garden Centre in Bedfordshire, David Little, said: ?I found the day very interesting and informative. The facilities at Sinclair?s Ellesmere Port are very impressive and the company?s vision for further investment at the site are very exciting indeed.

?It was really useful to be reminded of the Government?s targets regarding the use of peat in amateur gardening and to understand what the alternatives are for the future.

?I came away with one clear message, while the contents of the bag may be changing, the results for gardeners will be the same. The challenge facing us now is to get this message across to our customers.?

The GCA represents nearly 200 garden centres nationwide.

Through sharing information and its inspection programme, the GCA helps members to achieve high standards in customer service, plant quality and reliability.

Will Armitage, Managing Director of Armitage?s, which has two garden centres in Huddersfield, said: ?It was a very informative day and great to see a company that has previously been so closely associated with peat products show us how far advanced they are in being able to provide us with effective alternatives.

?We can?t change the Government?s aim on the use of peat in compost, but we can help to adjust our customers? expectations in regard to how growing media will look and feel in the future.?

For further information, please call 0118 930 8918. Alternatively, please visit www.gca.org.uk, log on to www.facebook.com/pages/GardenCentreAssociation or follow the organisation on Twitter at www.twitter.com/GC_Association.

GCA

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