Targetting the garden centres which buy Scotts peat products, and
the individual consumers, can be done all over the country and gives
plenty of scope for creative and/or disruptive actions.
Certain large chains claim to be phasing out stocking peat products.
B & Q say that they will
be peat free by 2006. Over that time they are going to gradually
decrease the peat content of their own brand products, while they
have cancelled their orders for all Scotts branded peat products
At the time of writing (December 2001) Homebase
are expected to come up with a policy soon, also aimed at gradually
phasing out peat products.
Focus/Do It All, which
has taken over Wickes and Great Mills, has made statements that
"peat has no long term future in our business". They have
committed to making a policy by easter 2002 regarding phasing out
peat, but in the meantime they still sell Scotts products.
Wyevale Garden Centres are
the largest garden-centre-only chain in the country. This is what
their environmental policy says about peat:
"Wyevale is actively working with compost and plant suppliers
on tests relating to the availability and use of peat-free growing
media and will closely monitor the results of these tests.
It is our intention to promote peat-free compost alternative
products wherever possible and these competitively priced products
are currently available from all Wyevale centres. We will not recommend
the use of peat as a mulch or soil conditioner.
We have informed our suppliers that we shall offer only peat-free
compost, and plants grown in peat-free growing media, as soon as
it is practicably possible to do so. In the meantime, we will only
deal with those suppliers of peat-based products who guarantee to
comply with good practice with regard to restoration at the end
of extraction, to undertake no extraction which would affect as
yet untouched areas, and to permanently set aside areas that are
as yet untouched. We will encourage and give preference to those
suppliers who are able to move most rapidly in providing peat-free
Tha above companies all have policies that they will not use peat
which has been extracted from Sites of Special Scientific Interest.
This means when they buy Scotts Miracle-Gro, it is processed at
Hatfield, but from peat imported from Irish bogs - destroying Irish
nature instead. Scotts also produce Miracle-Gro with Hatfield Moor
peat, and sell it to retailers who do not have such a policy.
Supermarkets are also large sellers of peat products, and although
it is known that several of them are considering policies regarding
peat phase out, none have actually got them yet.
In short, all the major chains are making some progress towards
phasing out peat. Of course, it is only B & Q that have actually
done something about it, and so there is no reason not to pay the
others a visit. But also remember that independent garden centres
comprise a large percentage of the Scotts market and most of them
have made no commitment to stop selling peat.
You can find a directory of garden centres and nurseries at http://www.martex.co.uk/horticulture
A sample letter to write to garden centres is here
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