Together the two companies will spearhead the technology behind the horticulture market’s shift to wholly peat-free compost in line with the Government’s targeted date of 2020 and in the meantime enable UK retailers to ease their own transition to completely peat-free via a combined peat-free and peat-reduced offer.
The deal will mean Vital Earth, the largest producer of compost into the UK retail market and manufacturer of the largest range of peat-free growing media in the UK, working with the leading Irish pioneer of the commercial composting of green and biodegradable waste. Tommy Gill from Bord Na Mona says, “The commitment to quality is a key driver for this agreement, as both our companies products have come tops in recent independent tests. We have invested heavily in a quality green waste composting and an innovation agenda driven internally supplemented with plant growing trials in University College Dublin. GroWise launched a few months ago in the Irish market and has already taken significant market share.”
Explained Steve Harper, managing director of Vital Earth, “Both companies are wholly committed to peat-free and by working together, we can make the changeover considerably easier for both the commercial and retail markets, including those resellers, who have found an immediate and complete switch to peat-free difficult to achieve. They will now be in a position to help us educate all professional and amateur gardeners about the benefits of peat-free, by trialling both peat-reduced and peat-free brands along the way. Meanwhile, Vital Earth and Bord Na Mona will jointly step up the production of composts, feeds and fertilisers made from recycled green waste in readiness for the increasing demand.”
Vital Earth now has a range of over 30 peat-free composts, including specialist blends like ericaceous and JI Nos 1, 2, and 3 equivalents, making it the only one-stop-shop for 100% natural, 100% sustainable and 100% UK-sourced green growing media. It also makes the award-winning Chicken Poo fertilizer, a recycled chicken manure product, sourced from British free range hens, as well as a range of commercial peat-free composts for the grower and green roof markets. The Vital Earth brand is already available in over 500 independent outlets as well as 350 Wilkinson’s stores nationwide.
Bord Na Mona is a €400m company operating in the renewable energy, resource recovery, clean air (through developing odour technologies) and water solutions businesses. Driven by the vision ‘ A New Contract with Nature’, it has undertaken not to open any new peat bogs and as part of a strong sustainability plan, will continue to invest in peatland rehabilitation for leisure tourism and amenity use. The GroWise range offers
multi-purpose and a selection of specialist compost blends all in peat-reduced formats using recycled garden waste as their main diluent as well as a range of decorative barks.
Steve Harper added, “ This agreement will make a major contribution to the peat-free revolution in the UK and sits well with both companies’ ambitions to be the leaders in this new market. Replicating Vital Earth’s green technology, developed and patented at our Ashbourne plant, has always been the company’s route to expansion and this agreement will lead on to considerably more positive impacts on the environment.”