It's disappointing that DEFRA, once again, has ignored expert advice about banning peat. Judith Stewart, DEFRA's Soil and Peatland Policy Specialist, announced that they will continue to wait until 2030 to phase out industry use of horticultural peat. This is despite a clear message from the Climate Change Committee (an independent advisory body which gives expert advice to the government) that sales of horticultural peat should be banned by 2023.
Garden Organic is deeply disappointed by Stewart's remarks. "We have been fighting for a peat ban since 2011," says Chief Executive, James Campbell. "We have seen successive governments weaken in their grasp of this issue, and deadlines for a ban come and go. It is shocking that we still have to wait another 10 years for the industry to wake up and understand that peat isn't necessary in gardens - and it is a vital carbon store. Peat bogs are rare ecosystems that should not be destroyed." According to Stewart, who was speaking at the AHDB's Transition Towards Responsibly Sourced Growing Media event, "In the future the Government is committed to phasing out use of peat in horticulture by 2030."
Garden Organic members are giving huge support to our current campaign For Peat's Sake, with individuals demanding their local retailer stocks peat free compost. The Horticultural Trade Association claim that "There has been a doubling in Google searches for 'peat-free' this month, showing how the subject is rising up the agenda, while Twitter has seen the topic trending in recent weeks."