General goal

The general goal of the project MITODE is to explore the possibilities and the effects of a reduction of peat use in Germany.

Our research questions

  • How much peat and alternative substrate components are used in Germany? Where are they produced? How much can be considered available?
  • What and how much substrate are being used in the different horticultural sectors? What are the characteristics of present horticultural systems?
  • Which local and renewable product have the potential to replace peat as substrate component?
  • What would be the economic impact of the use of peat-reduced or peat-free substrates on the horticultural sector?
  • What do we know about the sustainaibility of peat and alternative components? What data and methods should be used to assess it?
  • What are the ecological and social impacts of the production and use of peat and other components?
  • Which measures have been already implemented, included in other European countries? How did they work? What political options are possible for Germany?
  • What conceivable scenarii for the implementation of a peat reduction strategy can be developped? What would be their impacts?

Specific goals and implementation

The project is divided in different packages:

  • Statistics on the production and use of peat and alternative component in Germany, use for the different branches, imports, exports, production and use in other European countries,
  • Characteristics and Possibility of use of the differents components and substrates for horticulture,
  • Technical and economical analysis of the use of alternative substrates in horticultural systems,
  • Analysis of the production potential and other uses of alternative substrate components,
  • Sustainability assessement of alternative components, substrates and peat-reduced horticultural production,
  • Scenario analysis of potential peat reduction strategies, analysis of possible incentives for the substrate industry and the horticultural sector, analysis of policies in other countries,
  • Development of recommendations for the monitoring and the development of the strategy

Target group

The Ministry of Agriculture and politics in the first place, actors of the substrate and horticultural sector, NGOs, scientists, consumers and public.