GTN May/June 2021 - Garden Trade News, UK

Page 7


Heading towards a peat-less future, but sales keep growing!


e’d always planned to dedicate this issue of GTN to the Peat issue but following the DEFRA announcement on 17th May that the government will be consulting with a view to banning peat sales by 2024 that goal became even more relevant. As a result, we’ve taken more time pooling comment from retailers and suppliers and attempted to pull together as much useful information as possible to help garden centre professionals answer their customers questions and train staff accordingly. Analysis of GTN Bestsellers Garden Centre Epos data, over the past 6 years, for the first four months of the year shows total growing media volume sales have grown by 20% since 2017. Breaking that down into, Peat Free, Non Peat growing media products other than composts and Non Peat Free composts (which can be 100% peat to only 20% peat), Peat Free composts have seen the biggest growth at 452%, but they still only account for 15% of all growing media volumes sold. Adding Peat Free composts together with other Non Peat growing media products such as top soil and manure they then account for 25% of growing media volumes sold which leaves us with 75% of current growing media ranges that need to be replaced or changed before any government ban comes into place. The problem is getting bigger, however, as gardening sales continue to buck all trends. We’ve just completed the GTN Bestsellers analysis for the first week of June 2021 and where we normally see the sales graph start to tail off, this year it went the other way and soared up almost to the highest sales week of the year. Within that data we can see Growing Media volumes are now 20% up on 2019 and 32% up on 2018 levels. The demand to grow in composts and the fervour for

gardening among a new audience means we need to get the alternatives, and the advice of how best to use them, spot on or we risk losing the biggest growth we’ve ever seen, overnight. As an industry, led by the HTA, we scored a huge win with re-opening and gaining essential retail status last May. We now need to work together with the same energy and co-operation to lobby for a sensible plan going forward and for proper funding for research into alternatives. If Pandora can engineer diamonds in a laboratory then perhaps there can be a way of manufacturing a substance as good as peat in high volumes in a factory too. After all, over millions of years peat eventually gets compressed and turns into coal which can then be compressed further to turn into diamonds. We’ve had great pleasure being able to get out and about to visit many centres in the past month, more than we can fit in this issue so please keep an eye on GTN Xtra at for more GTN Photo Tours. We look forward to seeing many more of you over the coming weeks and especially at Glee in September.

EDITORIAL & ADVERTISING Garden Trade News Potting Shed Press Ltd Dairy Drove Thorney Peterborough PE6 0TX Tel 01733 775700 THE GTN TEAM Editor Trevor Pfeiffer Advertising Sales Alan Burdon Associate Editor Mike Wyatt Digital Editor Neil Pope Subscriptions Karen Pfeiffer Design & Production AT Graphics Ltd Kirsty Craner – Design Alun Jones – Production Manager Robert Tipping – Managing Director James Tipping – Technical Director Printing CG Print Ltd Do you qualify for a copy of GTN?

Trevor Pfeiffer


If you’d like to be added to the GTN distribution list, please send your details to to see if you qualify to be included. Alternatively, if you prefer your Garden Trade News digitally, sign up for GTN Xtra, our weekly e-mail newsetter at And, if you want the fastest garden centre sales analysis, take out a subscription to GTN Bestsellers our printed weekly sales data newsletter. For just £145.00 per year you get Top 50 sales charts created from weekly garden centre epos data. Contact trevor@ for more details and to subscribe.

Potting Shed Press Ltd

In this issue...

Gatefold Westland Driving Growth 4 The Peat Issue – Retailer Comment 10 Woodmansterne – A fresh approach to card sales 12 The Peat Issue – What about the alternatives 14 The Peat Issue – Responsible sourcing for the future 16 The Peat Issue – Seabrook on Peat 19 The Peat Issue – How does Peat emit Carbon?

Peat Free growing media sales areas will be the norm in the fut ure

Garden Trade News is published by Potting Shed Press Ltd who also publish: GTN Bestsellers, GTN Xtra, Glee Daily News and the Glee Catalogue, and the Solex Sun. Potting Shed Press also supply Garden Radio to over 100 garden centres across the country.

Director Trevor Pfeiffer

20 Dobbies Boston – Before and After 22 M42 Garden Centre Photo Tour – Planters, Melbicks, Rosebourne Solihull, Notcutts Solihull, BGC Studley 30 The Berkshire Gardener Photo Tour 31

HTA Column – Solutions please…

32 GIMA Column – We have achieved so much

SMALL PRINT: All material © Potting Shed Press Ltd 2021. No part of this publication may e reproduced in any form whatsoever, either for sale or not, without the express permission of the publishers. The information supplied in this publication is published in good faith and every effort has been made to ensure its accuracy. Potting Shed Press Ltd cannot accept responsibility for any error or misrepresentation. All liability for loss, disappointment, negligence or other damage caused by reliance on information contained in this publication or in the vent of any bankruptcy or liquidation or cassation of the trade of any company, individual or firm mentioned, is hereby excluded.

May/June 2021 3