Oireachtas Joint and Select Committees
Tuesday, 21 September 2021
Joint Oireachtas Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine
Impact of Peat Shortages on the Horticultural Industry: Minister of State at the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage
On behalf of the committee, I thank Minister of State, Deputy Noonan, and Mr. Lucas for engaging with us on this important issue. The message from the committee is very clear. The importation of peat into this country is both environmental and financial lunacy. Before the next peat harvesting season starts, we need to be able to harvest peat here for our horticulture and nursery industries. That is environmentally and economically sensible. There is a danger in that the cost base of these industries is being threatened and they could relocate, especially the mushroom industry, which is a very tight margin industry. We have huge concerns about not being able to keep its cost base in check. Importation of peat obviously puts huge financial pressure on those companies. I ask the Minister of State to use the best influence of his office to ensure when the next harvesting season starts, we are able to home harvest peat for our native industries.