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27 Nov 2021

WATCH | Almost 4,000 tonnes of peat imported from Latvia arrives in Rathowen following ban on peat harvesting

Calls for government to act immediately to save 17,000 jobs at risk

For the first time Ireland has imported a huge shipment of horticultural peat totalling almost 4,000 tonnes of which arrived in Ireland on Saturday morning. A convoy of over 200 trucks collected the freight of horticultural peat which travelled over 3,000KMs to Ireland from Latvia. This compares to an average of 10KMs when peat was harvested locally in a Westmeath factory prior to its effective banning in Ireland.

This is the first time this country has had to import horticultural peat with many scheduled shipments from the Baltic states and other EU countries expected over the coming weeks and months to supply Ireland’s horticultural sector.

All sectors of Irish horticulture including mushroom and small fruit and vegetable growers in North Dublin and throughout rural Ireland are severely affected. However, not only will growers and horticultural peat sector be impacted but food prices are expected to increase as a result of peat importation and inevitably passed on to consumers.

In the above video, Kevin Mahon of Klasmann-Deilmann Ireland Ltd stands with Cllr Paul Ross beside a portion of the huge deliver of imported peat while, in the background lies the bog that they have not been allowed to touch since 2019.

For more on this story, see this Wednesday's Longford Leader.

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