New chair for Growing Media Association

Gardeners who like to keep an eye on occurrences at the Horticultural Trade Association may be interested to hear that its Growing Media Association (GMA) arm has appointed a new chairman and vice chairman.

Martin Breddy, general manager of Scotts Miracle Grow, will take over the top job, while Bulrushs James Hayes will act as his second in command.

Mr Breddy replaces former chair Catherine Dawson, who enjoyed a successful era at the helm.

During her tenure, Ms Dawson helped develop a new code of practice for quantity measurement, pack filling and volume declaration as well as dealing with the development and launch of the Growing Media Initiative.

One of the first tasks to be dealt with by the new chairman will be the unlikelihood of the organisation hitting its "unrealistic" target of a 90 per cent reduction in peat.

"My task will be to demonstrate to the media, government and environmental groups how seriously manufacturers have tackled the issue," Mr Breddy explained.

He admitted the target would not be hit but said that the industry has made significant progress towards it.

Meanwhile, the Royal Horticultural Society recently announced a sponsorship link with supermarket firm Waitrose, which will support its Campaign for School Gardening.