IFA President Tim Cullinan said the Government’s inaction on the peat issue is utterly unacceptable.
“The three Ministers need to get together and sort this out. We need political leadership here. We are sick of everyone blaming everyone while small growers and businesses which provide employment in rural Ireland are being put out of business by Government inaction. It’s a total travesty,” said Mr Cullinan.
Following an IFA protest in July, a commitment was made that a short-term solution was imminent in order to avoid the importation of peat from Eastern Europe and the Baltics.
On Saturday, a load that filled 200 trucks was imported from Latvia to supplement the stockpile of peat.
IFA had highlighted that this stockpile of peat would not be of use for the mushroom industry as fresh excavate is required. If no action is taken, it’s expected that imported peat for the mushroom sector will be required in the next six weeks. In effect, we will be importing product that is 80 per cent water, which is utterly ludicrous.
Mr Cullinan said; “It’s an unbelievable scenario given that horticultural peat is readily available. The difficulty in sourcing peat is the final nail in the coffin for many horticultural operators.”