*** Peat extraction does take place in previously undrained areas! ***

An in-depth investigative journalistic study reveals what the peat lobby furiously denies: Peat bogs are freshly drained for peat extraction. The fairy tale that the peat used in gardening and horticulture only comes from previously drained agricultural land with little to no ecological value is impressively falsified.

See here the German original article and our English translation.


What happened internationally

England is leading the way in banning peat. A voluntary phasing-out scheme was introduced in 2011, aimed at phasing out peat until 2020. As with many voluntary schemes, it has given the market some push, but not enough. That is why the government has imposed a peat ban for private customers from 2024, the professional market will follow later.LINK)

More countries have introduced peat reduction strategies: Norway, Ireland, Flanders (Belgium) and Germany (see Hirschler study, p.8). Switzerland is currently the strictest country, aiming at a peat ban for the private and professional markets (LINK).

What Happened In The Netherlands Until Now?


18th November 2022: Netherlands becomes the 6th country in the world with an official peat reduction strategy for the substrate sector! We are honoured to be one of the signing parties of this groundbreaking agreement and will be part of this process as member of the steering group.

Full description and the English translation and the publication in thegovernment gazette..

*** The largest ever conference on peatlands calls for an end to peat extraction worldwide ***

Power to the Peatlands conference in Antwerp: 500 delegates discussed how peatlands can be protected. More than a hundred organisations signed the final declaration. Check out our press release the official document and Philipp´s presentation

The Netherlands is the biggest peat importer in the EU. Until recently, there was hardly any awareness of this ecological vandalism.

After years of hibernation, the subject was quickly picked up again in 2021!

  1. Inspired by the British peat ban, Karin wrote an article in Het Parool…
  2. ... followed by a radio interview for Vroege Vogels.
  3. A parliamentary enquiry by PvdD explicitly referred to this interview.
  4. We had direct contact with MPs Derk Boswijk (CDA) and Laura Bromet (GroenLinks), who handed in a motion about the possibility of a peat ban. The motion was accepted with a whopping 80%, with only the parties of the extreme right voting against it.
  5. Recently, we were interviewed by Trouw…
  6. ... and Tuin en Landschap for articles about peat...
  7. ... and by omroep gelderland for a tv interview and an article..
  8. Karin wrote an article for Groei & Bloei.
  9. Philipp wrote an article for the Volkskrant
  10. ... and we were named in the Libelle.
  11. We signed the Peat Convenant! This even reached the international press. See this article in the German trade journal taspo.
  12. Karin gave her second interview for the radio show Vroege Vogels (interview starts at 50:43)
  13. Karin wrote an article for OASE
  14. We wrote an article for The Optimist, in which we are describing the convenant.
  15. The convenant is mentioned in many journals and newsletters. We´re happy that we could notify the German trade journal taspo and in the newsletter of NL Greenabel about this contract.
  16. For this article , Karin was interviewed by RTLnieuws.
  17. For this article in Het Financieele Dagblad several convenant parties and we have been interviewed.
  18. Philipp was interviewed by Greenity about the Dutch peat convenant (photo van het artikel, geen preview beschikbaar).
  19. A large investigative journalism study by Nathalie Bertrams, Ingrid Gercama, and Tristen Taylor reveals tricks of the peat industry. See here the German original article and our English translation.
  20. Karin wrote an article in Trouw about ornamental plants. See the English translation here.
  21. Marijke Akerboom of Kwekerij Ninabel and Karin Bodewits of Stichting Turfvrij are interviewed for this article in Dagblad van het Noorden.
  22. Karin was interviewed by RTL Nieuws, which resulted in an article and a news piece on tv. (from 12:24 on).
  23. Karin wrote an article in Het Parool about ornamental plants' lack of ingredient lists.
  24. We were interviewed for a special issue on peat in growing media by FloraCulture International.

The subject has already received a lot of publicity: see also articles by:

Patrick Janssen

Loethe Olthuis.

 By now, most larger shops offer at least one peat-free alternative.

What are the next steps on our path to sustainable growing media?

 A lot has happened in the Dutch world of growing media since we first showed our face in May 2021. What are the next steps we as and the relevant industries could aim for?

Sourcing of raw materials

Biomassa verbranding boomkweker

At the moment we are not using all bio-waste well enough. 

The main competitor for these materials is the combustion of biomass for energy generation. Removing subsidies for such dirty and low value processes will make more of these valuable materials available to the growing media industry.

International agreements are crucial to achieving a peat ban without tilting the playing field

There are good and bad instruments to nudge the industry and consumers towards sustainable alternatives to peat. Therefore, international agreements are essential tools for creating a policy environment that doesn't disadvantage the domestic horticultural sector.

New markets for peat: a chance for the industry, a disaster for the environment

Outside of Europe and Northern America, peat is not widely used yet. Introducing an environmentally damaging practice into markets that are doing perfectly well without peat would aggravate the problems we discussed here. We can't forbid others to enjoy the convenience of peat while we're using it ourselves. Therefore, we Europeans have to lead by example and phase out peat before it becomes a truly global commodity.

See this article about China weighing into the peat business, potentially reaching 50 times the size of the Dutch market!