The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called on the Government to “act with urgency” on recommendations to cease the importation of peat for use in horticulture and ensure the needs of the sector are met from peat harvested and produced in Ireland.
The recommendations are contained in the report of a Working Group that was submitted to Minister of State Malcolm Noonan, in the Department of Housing, Local Government & Heritage, on October 20 last.
The Working Group was established to examine the use of peat moss in horticulture, following the decision of Bord na Móna to end peat harvesting.
Congress secured representation on the Working Group and argued for the continued harvesting and use of peat in the sector - until a suitable, viable alternative was found - in order to protect jobs and avoid importation of peat moss from abroad, given the damaging carbon footprint associated with securing supplies from the Baltic States and further afield.
The report noted that up to six shiploads of peat have already been imported from abroad and at least one shipload per month would be required to meet the needs of the food production and horticulture sector.
Congress has called for the Government to publish the report and take immediate action on its key recommendations.
For further information contact Macdara Doyle, Campaigns Officer on 087 9171471