The demand for growing media is expected to explode in the coming decades, but will this be enough to meet the high demand, especially when coal availability and use in the future is an issue?
The search for sustainable alternatives has been going on for years, but over time, filling the gap left by the charcoal will be a challenge. As revealed in two online meetings last week, collaboration, communication and education are key in moving towards more sustainable alternatives.
The debate over charcoal is not new. In the UK, the debate has been going on for years, with the government recently announcing plans to ban the sale of charcoal to gardeners in the UK by 2024. The use of charcoal by professional farmers is expected to be banned.
This has become an international issue for many years. In Germany, for example, they want to eliminate coal use by 2026. In fact, the whole discussion was about coal many years ago, but the topic has become the search for more sustainable alternatives to coal. So, what are the alternatives to charcoal, and how sustainable are these alternatives?
Webinars have been organized to increase awareness, demand and knowledge about sustainable alternatives at various events and, especially during epidemics. Organized last week AIPH en FCI One and had it all at once Hardievice A webinar (click) Here For the project) to inform the network of Danish farmers.
Team on the webinar of AIPH / FCI. Clockwise: Renee and Ed von Jungletols making the webinar possible. Panelists are Moritz Boking (Glassman Dealman), Hein Poon (RHP) and Peter van Ten Tool (Van der Knob Group). Tim Pryorlife from AIPH. Presented by Catherine Dawson (Melcourt), Cecilia Luitzbrun (Emerging Media Europe), and Marco Bomarants (IPS).
Impact of raw materials
On both webinars, various presentations were made on coal substitutes and the incorporation of charcoal into other standard products. But how sustainable are these alternatives? Each ingredient has an impact on the environment, for example, the coconut grid has to come from a distance and the production of wood fibers requires little energy. That’s why it’s important to put it in context.
Hein Boone of RHP, a knowledge center for substrates, was one of the providers on both webinars and explained their efforts to make the impact, production and expected properties of such emerging media more transparent. (Hein also mentioned this earlier this year)
“Timeline does not match question”
According to a recent WUR report, demand for emerging media will have increased by 400% by 2050, so how do we fill the gap left by coal? In a previously published Floral Daily article Catherine Dawson has already explained to Melcourt that this will be a challenge in the UK, and during the AIPH webinar, along with other providers from other countries, she reiterated how big this challenge is. “The timelines don’t match the need, that’s an issue,” they say.
Communication and cooperation are essential
According to the participants in the webinar, communication and cooperation are important. To meet the need, we must work together to find and develop sustainable emerging media, they insist. In addition, it is important to send messages such as a tight schedule and that the char can be produced responsibly. With R.P.B. For example, the department has taken the initiative to make responsible choices and ensure that the process is as transparent as possible.