On 8 and 9 October 2019, Growing Media Europe (GME) held its annual Autumn Meeting in Brussels, kicking-off with a Parliamentary Evening that brought together political decision makers, growing media producers, representatives of related sectors, scientists and NGOs.
Topic of the Parliamentary Evening was the key role of growing media in the shift towards a more sustainable horticulture. Ainars LUPIKIS from the Latvian State Forest Research Institute Silava presented recent outputs of the EU funded LIFE REstore project on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from peatlands. The results clearly show that
CO2 emissions from peatlands are 30-35% lower than stated in the official IPCC guidelines
Peatlands used as cropland (agriculture) emit about 3 times as much GHGs as peatlands under extraction
GME calls for taking these findings into account when implementing EU climate policy. GHG mitigation goals have to be based on resilient data and state of the art research methods.
Sjaak VAN DER TAK, President of the Dutch Horticulture Association, demonstrated in his presentation how growing in growing media can help solve the main challenges responsible greenhouse horticulture is facing today: labour, water & environment, energy and plant health.
GME intends to both help develop further research on sustainable growing media production and to strengthen the link to the horticultural sector as user of our products. A stronger joint effort is needed for promoting the different ways, growing media contribute to food security, greener cities, afforestation and biodiversity - Growing media are part of the answer!