HTA report shows “significant decline” in UK peat usage

by | May 1, 2023 | Associations, Business, News | 0 comments

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. The report covers industry trends in growing media from 2021 to 2022. It highlights a positive shift towards more sustainable practices within the sector, with UK suppliers, growers, and retailers collaborating to develop alternatives.

Headline figures show encouraging progress by the sector, with peat volume having almost halved in one year and the total volume dropping below one million cubic metres. The retail industry has shown a remarkable decrease in using less than half the volume of peat compared to the previous year. The percentage now stands at just 16.8% and is rapidly declining. Additionally, the professional use of peat has fallen below 50% for the first time.

The full report of the Growing Media Monitor, developed annually by the HTA, GMA, the Agriculture and Horticulture Development Board, and the Department of Environment Food and Rural Affairs, will be available in the coming weeks. The early headlines, however, mark a significant milestone in the industry’s ongoing efforts to promote sustainability and reduce environmental impact. The HTA is encouraged to share this news and continue working towards a more sustainable future.

  • Facebook
  • Twitter
  • Google+
  • Pinterest
  • Print Friendly
  • reddit
  • LinkedIn

However, many of the UK’s tree and plant growers face several challenges to transition to 100% peat free in the near future and have called for their research and development trials to continue until 2030. This will allow professional peat-free mixes for growing the thousands of plant types and species at the quality and quantity required.

James Barnes, chair of the HTA, said, “The results of this report are a testament to our industry’s dedication to sustainability, taking significant and effective steps towards reducing peat use, and that industry-led initiatives are already yielding results. We remain committed to removing peat from compost in retail by the end of 2024. However, to accelerate our progress towards a peat-free future, we urgently need all stakeholders, including the government, to focus efforts on addressing the barriers to alternatives and a successful transition. We remain hugely concerned about a drastic shift from 2030 for ending-peat use for professional purposes and the impact this would have. By working together, we can ensure a more sustainable future for horticulture and protect our planet for generations to come.”

Environment Minister Trudy Harrison added, “It is encouraging to see today’s figures which show the professional sector making good progress in moving towards using effective peat-free alternatives. Our peatlands play a crucial role in locking up carbon, providing habitats for wildlife and helping with flood mitigation.

“We will continue to support and work with the professional sector as we move towards a fuller transition to peat-free by 2026 and a complete end to horticultural use of peat by 2030.”

more latest news ➡

GCA Barometer of Trade figures 'very good'

March BoT figures show a ‘very strong month’ says GCA

The Barometer of Trade (BoT) figures from the Garden Centre Association (GCA) for March 2024 have been revealed and are ‘very strong’ when compared with the same month last year. According to data submitted by the organisation’s member garden centres, none of the...

Rajesh Gupta joins DObbies

Dobbies Garden Centres appoints Rajesh Gupta

Dobbies further strengthens its senior leadership team with the appointment of Rajesh Gupta as Strategy and Business Development Director. Rajesh qualified as a Chartered Accountant with KPMG and has 20 years’ experience in retail working in strategy, business...

Marcus Eyles leaves Dobbies

Marcus Eyles departs Dobbies after seven years

Marcus Eyles has decided to move on from his role as Horticulture Director at Dobbies to pursue a new chapter in his illustrious 40-year career. Marcus joined Dobbies, the UK’s leading garden centre retailer, in 2017 as Head of Online, before progressing to...

One4all and Dobbies enters partnership

Dobbies partners with One4all gift cards

One4all Gift Cards, is excited to announce its partnership with Dobbies Garden Centres, the UK’s largest garden centre retailer with 77 stores nationwide and nearly 160 years of expertise. Dobbies Garden Centres champion garden living all-year-round offering...

Ben Harrison announced as GCA chairman elect

GCA announces Chairman Elect for 2024/2025

The GCA has announced its Chairman Elect for 2024/25. Ben Harrison, who is Operations Director of Haskins Garden Centres, is stepping into the role and will become Chairman at the GCA’s annual conference in January 2026. Ben says: “I’m delighted to be taking on...

Notcutts celebrates at annual awards

Notcutts annual awards highlights team success

The family-owned garden centre group, Notcutts, gathered at the Chesford Grange Hotel in Kenilworth on March 14th to celebrate the successes of its colleagues across all 19 garden centres nationwide. The event, attended by over 140 colleagues, family members and...

Read GCR's latest edition!

Subscribe ToThe Wednesday Word

Subscribe To
The Wednesday Word


Get all the latest news, events & more straight to your inbox every Wednesday.

You have Successfully Subscribed!

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This