Browne questions logic of importing horticultural peat

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A Tipperary TD has described as “ludicrous” and “baffling” the importation of almost 4,000 tonnes of horticultural peat last weekend.

The stock from Latvia is required to supply Irish businesses such as nurseries and mushroom producers, after the banning of commercial peat harvesting here.

Sinn Féin deputy Martin Browne says it’s estimated that two such shipments will be required each month.

Speaking at the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee, he said this comes at a greater cost to Irish businesses and the environment.

“We’ve been talking to John Neenan of Growing Media Ireland – they’re saying that the cost of importing the horticultural peat from Latvia and that could be up to three times the cost of sourcing the same product here in Ireland.

“And the importation of the peat has considerable consequences to the environment with significant carbon emissions to transport the 3,000 miles by sea.”