Long road towards reduced peat usage

Peat free. Torffrei. British and German governments in particular, are introducing stricter rules for peat extraction and peat usage. Will this accelerate the developments around this issue? Some retailers have already imposed strict requirements on their suppliers. For many other retailers, peat usage is a topic that’s gaining more attention.

In Germany, agricultural minister Julia Klöckner opened the discussion about half a year ago. She sent a letter to garden centres and DIY-stores, requesting them to stop selling products that contain peat. She ruffled at least a few feathers with this initiative; some people feel that the German government wants to move too fast. Various stakeholders, from substrate suppliers to environmental organisations, have been talking about the reduction of peat usage for a while, but this hasn’t led to much more than placing a dot on the horizon.

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The German climate action plan 2050, as well as the coalition agreement, stated that peat usage had to be reduced. Meanwhile, the government has finalised the climate programme for 2030 and this includes agreements regarding the protection of peat areas and the reduction of peat usage.

Retailers striving for less peat

The response from the side of retailers includes several companies that are striving for less peat usage. Bram van Bommel, tree cultivation expert at substrate supplier Kekkilä-BVB, reports that German supermarket chain REWE for example, is actively working towards a maximum of 50% peat in their substrate. “I’ve heard that they’re talking about the nearby future in this regard.” (..)

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