Peter Wadewitz recently celebrated his 70th birthday but there’s no sign he’s slowing down says June Taylor, who continues her series of profiles on members of HMASA.
Peter Wadewitz OAM is Managing Director of the successful Peats Group, which includes Peats Soil and Garden Supplies, a business that has been operating since 1974. He is a true gentleman of the industry highly respected by all for his passion, enthusiasm and expertise in all areas of soils, composts and organics. So much so that in 2020 Peter received a Medal of Australia (OAM) for his services to the organics recycling industry.
This esteemed honour was bestowed on Peter not only for his hard work and the new and exciting initiatives he had developed with his team, but also for his futuristic insight into the world of recycling. He has earned a reputation for making a significant difference to the environment through his many innovations as well providing ongoing support for the community he has embraced and sponsored for many years.
That community includes children’s charities, sporting clubs, the food industry, community and public gardens, the Country Fire Service, hospitals, service and community groups not to mention his long time support of the Horticultural Media Association in South Australia. Pete Wadewitz is certainly a well-deserved recipient.
In accepting the OAM Pete said it was humbling, an unbelievable honour and something he had never expected. “I do what I do because I am so passionate about it and because I have been composting for 50 years; I just put my head down and tail up because I believe so strongly in what I am doing,” he said.
Peter has been a long-term and generous supporter of the HMASA as he firmly believes the Association provides important education that stretches back to the early days of farming in the state.
“HMASA plays a vital role in educating consumers on good garden practices as well as looking into the future to encourage and inspire more of the community to become involved in ‘growing their own’ and the numerous rewards that brings,” Pete says.
For Pete Wadewitz, his love of nature and the horticultural industry began back in the 1950s when his father owned a small wholesale nursery. As a child Pete helped make potting mix and bag it for landscapers. From these modest beginnings grew today’s large and successful business.
During those early days, Pete’s family had a great relationship with industry legends including Frank Ugody, Eric Carter and Doug Smart all of whom played a vital role in helping to shape the very successful South Australian garden industry into the exciting horticultural world that is surging forward in leaps and bounds today.
Pete’s parents encouraged their children to work in the industry and now Pete and his wife Liz have three boys who also work in the family business with one managing the family farm. The family continues to grow with five grandchildren and one great granddaughter. Pete and Liz are proud of their family and of what they have achieved in their business world.
Today the company has three depots and composts all sorts of green organics including sludge, manure and green waste. They receive and process much of metropolitan Adelaide’s green organics through council kerbside and business collections as well as food organics from hotels, supermarkets, food processors and manufacturers by utilising their globally renowned BiobiN organic waste collection (described in the industry as “an in-vessel composting system offering an alternate solution for businesses in managing their organics”).
The Peats Group has three depots and is expanding rapidly. Employing more than 80 staff, the company has a fleet of eight double semi trucks. They guarantee that whether it’s bulk or bagged product, they deliver on quality and performance with the ability to provide solutions to client’s problems.
Pete Wadewitz is a gentle, generous, compassionate and unassuming man who heads an incredibly proud South Australian company with a great vision for the future. Deep down it’s obvious his company’s real charter includes a strong commitment to the communities that in turn support the use of recovered organic mulches and compost. It all points to a strong and bright future for generations to come.