Consumer communication, performance and collaboration key factors to peat-free future

Company: Westland Horticulture

Westland Horticulture has said that widespread consumer communication, the availability of high-performance peat free alternatives, and increased government collaboration will be key factors in creating a sustainable, peat-free future for the sector.

The company also said that consumers will only make the switch to peat-free products if they believe that they offer high growing performance, and will only continue to purchase peat-free if it meets those expectations.

Westland is currently on track to be 70% peat-free in 2020, thanks to significant investment into peat replacement technology. As part of its progressive peat reduction strategy, Westland is set to launch the biggest ever advertising campaign for peat-free compost this spring, investing £1.5 million in a New Horizon™ TV campaign.

Keith Nicholson, Marketing Director for Westland commented: “As an industry, we need to change consumer understanding around peat and peat alternatives. Consumers will only switch to peat-free when convinced by its performance. Communication is a key part of convincing consumers to make the change. That’s why we’ve invested £5 million to date on advertising peat-free, and are investing a further £1.5 million this year. This is an important way of bringing consumers along the journey to switch to peat free.”

Westland has invested £35 million into developing peat alternatives over the past 18 years. New Horizon™ has been developed using Westland’s latest advancement in peat replacement technology, BIO3™. It will be the first peat-free compost to be advertised on TV, and Westland believes it could become its best-selling compost.

 “The Greatest Grow on Earth” – New Horizon campaign is a celebration of growing and represents a first for peat-free TV advertising. The campaign forms part of Westland’s commitment to lead the shift towards more sustainable growing media products and promote peat-free or heavily peat-reduced products across all its communication channels in 2020.

Keith continued:  “New Horizon is the result of 18 years of research and development and represents a game changer in peat-free compost. Consumers no longer have to make a choice between performance and sustainability - and this advertising campaign will help to spread that message.”

Most recent government targets aim to remove peat entirely by 2030, but Westland believes a much more collaborative approach is needed to make that happen.

“In order for the industry to further reduce reliance on peat, we need improved access to raw materials and increased government support and collaboration. We are committed to creating a sustainable future for horticulture beyond 2020 and are working closely with industry partners, NGOs, trade bodies, government and retailers to make this possible,” Keith said.

Westland recently launched a peat strategy document which shares Westland’s peat reduction journey including achievements to date and future plans.

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