The recent Growing Media Association (GMA) annual general meeting saw Jamie Robinson of Westland elected as its new Chair and Charles Farmer of Bord na Mona as Vice Chairman for the next two years.
Jamie, who takes over from James Hayes of Bulrush Horticulture Ltd comments “I am looking forward to the new challenge, at a time when there is a clear direction from government and the industry on the sustainable use of peat and ensuring the quality of growing media going forward, as peat usage is further reduced.”
Everris was welcomed as a new member of the GMA at the meeting, which took place in February. Warm thanks were also extended to James Hayes from all GMA members for chairing during the past intensive two years, with extensive contribution to the work of the Sustainable Growing Media Task Force.
The GMA is looking forward to taking forward projects that have emerged from the Task Force on the sustainability of all growing media ingredients and on creating a quality performance standard, and to working more closely with growers and retailers in taking forward other parts of the Task Force roadmap.
The Association is looking to establish a stronger dialogue in Europe on the sustainability of growing media following GMA’s successful associate membership application to the European Peat and Growing Media Association (EPAGMA).
James Hayes thanked the members of the Association for their support and assistance over the last two years and also acknowledged the help and guidance received from Tim Briercliffe and Gary Scroby of the HTA. He said “The future of the association is in very capable hands of the new Chair, Jamie Robinson and Vice Chair, Charles Farmer and we wish them well for their terms in these positions and assure them of our support as they lead the association through the next phase of its work.
The industry has made significant progress during the last two years on the future for growing media in UK horticulture. GMA members worked closely with Defra as part of the Sustainable Growing Media Task Force and took responsibility for delivering a number of the projects which will form an important part of the roadmap for the future of horticulture in the UK. We have also created an opportunity to work more closely on these issues with our European colleagues so that a much wider approach to the use of sustainable raw materials can eventually be initiated across the EU. There is a substantial amount of work still to be done on these issues but the industry has created a solid foundation to base future progress on.”