Background and targets
Defra set out its plans for reducing the horticultural use of peat in the Natural Environment White Paper, The Natural Choice. This included an ambition to reduce peat use to zero by 2030, and set the following milestones:
- a progressive phase-out target of 2015 for government and the public sector on direct procurement of peat in new contracts for plants;
- a voluntary phase-out target of 2020 for amateur gardeners; and
- a final voluntary phase-out target of 2030 for professional growers of fruit, vegetables and plants.
In addition to the above and in order to ensure that these goals are met Defra committed to the establishment of a Task Force, bringing together representatives from across the supply chain with a clear remit to advise on how best to overcome the barriers to reducing peat use, exploring all the available measures to achieve this goal, in order to put the industry on a sustainable footing for the future.