Growing media sector presents ambitious agenda for the future

With the policy “A strong, indispensable basis”, the Dutch Potting Soil and Substrate Manufacturers Association (VPN) has presented the agenda for the future. An 'ambitious agenda' according to the VPN.

The substrate sector is committed to continuous improvement with regard to quality, safety and sustainability of substrates and sets ambitious goals. During the VPN members’ meeting on June 18, a first copy of “A strong, indispensable basis” was presented to VVD Member of Parliament Arne Weverling by chairman Ted Vollebregt.

Ted Vollebregt (right) presents the first copy of the new policy agenda to Member of Parliament Arne Weverling.

To further shape and substantiate the ambitions in the field of sustainability and transparency, the VPN is contributing to the development of a European LCA (Life Cycle Analysis) for substrates. The LCA examines the sustainability effects for the entire life cycle of a substrate. This LCA provides the companies in the sector with reliable information so that substantiated choices can be made in the composition of substrates.

The substrate industry sets targets for the further application of renewable raw materials for organic substrates. The target for the professional market is that by 2025 substrates will consist of at least 35% renewable raw materials and no less than 60% renewable raw materials for the consumer market.

The bar is also set high when it comes to responsible peat extraction. In 2025, the Dutch substrate sector will only use peat from RPP (Responsibly Produced Peat) certified peateries. Strict requirements are set for the selection and use of the production locations. Crucial in RPP is the aftercare and the restoration to nature after use of the production locations.

The sector has formulated ambitions for mineral wool for return and reuse. The ambition is at least 90% reuse for the Netherlands and globally 35% by 2025. It has also been agreed not to extract basalt from quarries in protected nature reserves.

During the presentation of the ambitions, Arne Weverling indicated that the potting soil and substrate sector should present itself more: “People do not realize that without potting soil and substrate no cultivation of vegetables, flowers and plants is possible. These natural products are an indispensable basis for healthy and sustainable cultivation”.

"With such an ambitious and well-substantiated agenda, the substrate sector can openly, both in The Hague and Brussels, discuss the future of a beautiful international and innovative sector with policy makers, politicians and NGOs," says Arne Weverling.

The VPN represents approximately 20 innovative companies that are global players when it comes to innovation and product development. The members of the VPN are jointly responsible for approximately 98% of the substrates that are produced in the Netherlands. On an annual basis, approximately 7 million m3 of substrate is produced, representing a turnover of approximately € 400 million.

For more information: 
Vereniging Potgrond- en Substraatfabrikanten Nederland

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