The Canadian and U.S. peat industries have been criticized over the years for their peatland management practices. The criticisms, peat producers say, are unfounded.
Fortunately, then, new specifications for responsible peatland management have been developed, and VeriFlora is now cementing the responsible practices of producers with a peatland-specific certification that spans areas like production, pre-harvest site preparation and peatland restoration. Fafard et Frères and Premier Tech Horticulture are the first peat producers to earn certification.
In 2009, the peat industry launched a process for developing specifications related to the responsible management of peatlands via Niche Development of Peat and Agri-Environmental Technologies (VTTA), the Canadian Sphagnum Peat Moss Association (CSPMA) and the Quebec Peat Moss Producers Association (APTHQ). The development work was assigned to Scientific Certification Systems (SCS), which audits several types of sustainability certification for the horticulture, floriculture, agriculture, agro-processing and forestry industries.
The certification criteria for the peat moss sector are now part of the VeriFlora standard. After several months of work and validation with stakeholders through public consultations, SCS developed criteria guaranteeing certified peat moss producers manage all of their operations in an environmentally responsible manner.
The new specifications are available at www.tourbehorticole.com.