The demand for peat-free grown crops continues to grow. In the coming years, that demand is expected to continue growing ahead of legislation in the United Kingdom. The step towards becoming peat-free is a big one, recognized by Jiffy, who have added peat-free substrates to their product portfolio. For each crop, Jiffy looks for a peat-free solution.
“There is still no existing legislation on the use of peat in the United Kingdom,” says Jiffy product manager Miguel Meneses. That will eventually come. The year 2026 sounds. “But public opinion is already creating a certain pressure. Retailers respond to this and want to be seen as green. In response, they want growers to take a step towards peat-free crop production.” This development is happening at a rapid pace. “At Jiffy – specializing in innovative and sustainable growing solutions – we have been working on peat-reduced substrates for some time. From Sri Lanka, we already supply coir products from Jiffy’s three production locations. It may not be what people expect because it comes from afar, but the CO2 footprint is very low.”
Although that’s quite a challenge. “There is no raw material that can replace peat one on one,” Meneses says. “So we had to search for a mixture with other raw materials that, when combined in the right way, could replace peat.” They succeeded. “We now have five different types of wood fibers, five types of coco, two types of pine bark, four types of minerals, two types of compost, and four types of clay. All of these media together make a strong mix on the peat-free market.” With this, Jiffy not only has a solution that works but also one that meets the highest requirements. Whether a grower continues to grow in peat, wants to do so without peat, or seeks another solution is up to them. “But whatever a grower decides, we’re looking for a solution that meets as many requirements as possible.”
But how accessible is the step towards reducing peat use? “The switch to a mix with a reduced percentage of peat is easy,” Meneses thinks. “With a mix containing thirty percent peat, you retain most of the nutrition and pH regulation that peat offers.” The big step is to become completely peat-free. “You enter a more difficult phase. It becomes harder to continue growing on the same infrastructure. As an ornamental shrub or tree grower, you rely on your soil to regulate pH and water levels. A peat-free soil requires much more attention.” That is why, according to the product manager, it is often necessary to apply customization. Jiffy does that too. “The process begins with investigating the mixture that a grower is currently using. Based on that, we try to design a peat-free substrate that the grower needs and is almost as good in performance. We’re looking for a solution that is as close as possible to the soil with peat in it.”
Personal attention is important in the process of becoming peat-free. “We offer a range of standard peat-free mixes, but that is just the starting point. At Jiffy, we realize that we can do better if we understand the wishes of the user for the crop.” Account Managers from Jiffy, therefore, do not visit the nurseries with a catalog but ask about the motives for making the switch to a peat-free substrate and the requirements of the crop. “Then a mix always comes out that is suitable for the grower.” “In uncertain times,” Meneses continues. “Growers benefit from a party that is willing to offer the capacity that a customer needs. And a party with the right people who help take a step towards becoming peat-free. Jiffy can offer both.”