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Why is the UK biochar industry so far behind?

Biochar is an ancient technology dated back to the Amazon, 4,000 years ago. But only within the last 30 years have we started to uncover its properties and potential applications. 

Studies have shown impressive results - just a small amount of biochar can improve soil health, increasing above ground growth up to 30%, increasing root development up to 50%, and reducing the watering and fertilisation requirements.

And because biochar is organic and contains zero chemicals or additives, it makes a good case for a natural soil enhancer. In addition, as biochar is a Negative Emission Technology, it provides a good way to offset carbon emissions.

The UK biochar industry is young - just ten years old. While the biochar market in America is growing fast and Germany is taking the lead on biochar manufacturing technology, the UK’s adoption of biochar is several years behind.

Although the use of biochar has been promoted by popular UK TV programmes like Countryfile and Gardeners World, it’s yet to become a staple product in the gardeners toolkit. And you won’t find it for sale in many garden centres across the country.

But why?

The reason is simple. Investors have yet to finance large scale local production of biochar because the market isn’t there yet. The market isn’t there yet because no one can make it for a low enough price. No one can make it for a low enough price because no one has committed to building the production infrastructure to achieve economies of scale.

At Earthly Biochar, this is the cycle we vow to break through making high-performance, sustainable products more accessible at affordable prices.

Mixing biochar into soil could help solve two vital problems: poor soil health and climate change.

It won’t be long before we see the market start to grow here in the UK, as the benefits of its application are becoming clear. Biochar could be rolled out as a practical solution to improve the environment. But for that to happen the UK biochar industry will need to work to establish the scale up needed to achieve economic production that’ll drive mass adoption.


Our biochar is made from unwanted wood, diverting it from landfill or taken from tree surgeons. This circular economy of wood can provide two main benefits to the end user: healthier soil and a smaller carbon footprint. Buy now!

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