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For the First Time Ireland Imports Peat following Wind-Up of Domestic Production

22nd September 2021
Approximately 3,600 tonnes of horticultural peat arrived from Latvia into Drogheda Port on Saturday amid ongoing tensions between industry growers and the Government following the cessation of commercial peat production. Approximately 3,600 tonnes of horticultural peat arrived from Latvia into Drogheda Port on Saturday amid ongoing tensions between industry growers and the Government following the cessation of commercial peat production. Credit: The Irish Times-twitter

Long famed for generations of turf production, Ireland is now receiving shipments of foreign peat with national reserve stockpiles said to be exhausted.

Some 3,600 tonnes of horticultural peat arrived from Latvia into Drogheda Port in Co. Louth on Saturday, where it was met by a fleet of 200 trucks.

The unusual freight landed amid ongoing tensions between industry growers and the Government following the cessation of commercial peat production in the wake of a 2019 High Court ruling. A report to Government on how the situation might be resolved is due later this month.

According to Growing Media Ireland (GMI), the industry body, Saturday’s large shipment of peat completed a 3,000km journey to reach its destination, compared with an average distance of about 10km when sourced from a Westmeath bog.

“This is the first time this country has had to import horticultural peat with many scheduled shipments from the Baltic states and other EU countries expected over the coming weeks and months to supply Ireland’s horticultural sector,” GMI said.

The material is used in the production of foodstuffs, notably mushrooms, soft fruits and vegetables. Prices are now expected to increase as a result of growers’ reliance on imported material and be “inevitably passed on to consumers”, the body said.

More from The Irish Times here.

Published in Drogheda Port
Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore

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Jehan Ashmore is a marine correspondent, researcher and photographer, specialising in Irish ports, shipping and the ferry sector serving the UK and directly to mainland Europe. Jehan also occasionally writes a column, 'Maritime' Dalkey for the (Dalkey Community Council Newsletter) in addition to contributing to UK marine periodicals. 

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