Responsibly Produced Peat certification ensures that peatland will be used, managed and restored in a responsible way
Protection of high conservation value areas
The RPP certification system does not allow peat extraction from high conservation value areas. It stimulates peat extraction from highly degraded areas followed up by appropriate after-use measures.
High conservation values (HCV) are biological, ecological, social or cultural values of outstanding significance or critical importance. This could be the presence of rare species or special ecosystem services. RPP certification prevents that peat extraction affect these HCVs. In addition, rehabilitation measures can result in a net gain in natural values. Especially after extracting peat from degraded peatland used for agriculture or forestry. This way RPP generates benefits for both, nature and industry.
Preference for restoration
Responsibly Produced Peat certification secures the best possible development after completion of peat production, with preference for restoration.
Traditions for peatland use and ecological conditions vary between countries. National legislation, land owners, and environmental policy guidelines set the outlines for possible after-use regimes in many countries. RPP’s preference is restoration of the peatland ecosystem. Stakeholder consultation, including local authorities, NGOs and local communities, is an important part in this process.
Assuring long-term availability of peat
Peat is by far the most important and valuable constituent for growing media. Peat counts for 75% of the volume in growing media. Other materials are used, often in addition to peat.
Peat as a solid base allows the application of other raw materials. Nowadays (organic) residues from various sources are offered as potential raw material for growing media. Often these products -as such- are not suitable as raw material for growing media. The products don’t meet the basic requirements regarding e.g. phyto-hygienic and nutritional aspects. They can however replace a part of the peat content in growing media.
About our foundation
To develop and administrate a certification scheme for the responsible and transparent production of peat resources.
To stimulate and facilitate the certification of companies based on a certification scheme. RPP certification ensures that responsible peat production is recognizable for the market and the society.
Responsibly Produced Peat aims for broad support in Europe and mainstream application.
The Principles and Criteria of Responsibly Produced Peat are both practical and credible, and the certification system is established in consultation with various stakeholders and organizations. Mainstream application will result in responsible managing of peatlands to reach a healthy balance between conservation and utilization of peatlands.
Why do we need peat?
Advantages of peat
Peat soil is particularly suitable for horticulture. Peat counts for 75% of the volume in growing media. We need growing media to produce vegetables, flowers and plants.
Free of pathogens
The most important feature is that peat has many beneficial organisms but almost no plant pathogens or weed seed . It comes from natural areas with little risk of contamination with harmful organisms.
Optimal water retention and aeration
For centuries peat was formed from plant remains in marshy wetlands. The result is a fibrous material that holds water well and ensures good aeration. Their root structure provide perfect conditions for young plants to shoot.
Low pH value and nutrient content
Peat is acidic by nature and low in nutrients which means that by adding a desired amount of lime and nutrients almost all plant specific requirements can be realized.
Peatland for horticulture
Growing media are an important basis for both professional production of vegetables and ornamental plants, and the consumer market.
The use of peatlands for horticultural peat production represents a small fraction of the use of peatlands in Europe. No more than 0,4% of the peatlands in Europe is used for peat extraction. About 40% of the European peatland is used for agriculture and forestry. These peatlands are drained, otherwise they can’t be used.
When peatlands are drained and degraded they emit CO2 (carbon dioxide). This is a so called “greenhouse gas” and the emission has an impact on climate change.
These degraded peatlands can be perfectly used for peat production. Their rehabilitation afterwards will reduce the emission of CO2 significantly. About 58 % of the peatlands in the EU are degraded.
Protected natural peatlands
About 18% of the acreage in the European Union, has the Natura 2000 conservation status. A prominent part concerns peatlands and other wetlands.
RPP certification does not allow impact on conservation areas. It also implies leaving all ecological valuable areas, with or without a nature conservation status, undisturbed.