Similarly, the aim to replace peat use in plant production by 2030 allows time for R&D work, if funding can be found for it, to develop adequate replacement materials at a competitive cost. UK growers should clearly not be put at a commercial disadvantage to their European competitors, who of course are not constrained in any way in their use of peat as a growing medium.
Progress on both these tasks will need to be kept under regular review since neither the technical development required, nor the availability of cost-effective replacement materials with a smaller carbon footprint, are guaranteed.
We welcome the recognition of the progress made by the Growing Media Initiative (GMI) in demonstrating that a voluntary industry approach is more effective than regulation. The GMI remain committed to leading the industry on peat reduction and will meet at the end of the consultation period to ensure that the scheme is fit for purpose to meet the new government targets.
HTA/GMA will be responding in full to the Consultation in due course. Members are encouraged to send their views on the consultation to Gary.Scroby@the-hta.org.uk
The consultation document can be viewed at: