The GMA (Growing Media Association) and the HTA has launched the pilot Responsible Sourcing Scheme for Growing Media at the National Plant Show on 21/22 June.

Paul Alexander, head of Horticultural and Environmental Science for the RHS and Neil Bragg, director of Bulrush Horticulture spook to manufacturers and retailers on the issues surrounding sourcing.

The purpose of the scheme is to "steadily introduce and increase an awareness of manufacturers’ impact upon the environment as a result of choices made regarding the components used in growing media".

The scheme will enable those manufacturers wishing to participate the ability to measure the components that make up particular products, enter those results into a calculator, which will then inform the manufacturer of their environmental impact.

GMA chairman Steve Harper said: "We have launched the pilot scheme at the HTA National Plant Show to give everyone the opportunity to come and talk to us and sign-up to be kept informed about the scheme as it progresses.

"The pilot scheme itself is a very gentle first step in understanding what the situation is within the industry, and giving those who want them the tools to scientifically analyse the components within the volume and type of growing media. The longer term ambition is that manufacturers and retailers, as they understand the impact upon the environment, take steps to reduce their own footprint and join the audited scheme."

Raoul Curtis-Machin, Chair of the Growing Media Initiative, comments: “This scheme represents a step-change for the horticulture industry. It enables us to measure how well we are sourcing our production materials in growing media, in ethical human and environmental terms. It is a proud moment for everyone involved in making our industry more sustainable.”

The collated results will be analysed by the Steering Board of the Responsible Sourcing Scheme to understand the industry’s use of diluents in growing media.

For more information 
HTA Media office
T: 0118 9303132