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Chess-mad Finance Minister checkmates peat product

Rarely can a humble bag of peat have been given such a glitzy introduction as happened in Latvia Thursday when a celebrity chess match marked the occasion.

Finance Minister Dana Reizniece-Ozola agreed to capitalize on her recent famous victory over the world chess champion by pushing her pawns across the checkered board in Baloži near Rīga. The purpose? The launch of a new peat product called 'Forest Gold'.

It's a mixture for "professional growers", to be manufactured in a newly-made wood fiber plant which attracted a €5m investment, with €1.2m coming from Latvia's Investment and Development Agency and the rest from Pindstrup Latvia, subsidiary of the Danish horticulture giant Pindstrup Group.

"It is not just a new plus sign for Latvia’s export balance. It is more than plain tax revenue, more than new added value to wood chips, more than environment-friendly production in Latvia.

I would like to emphasize that it means new well-paid jobs," Reizniece-Ozola said as she cut the ribbon to open the plant.

The plant is estimated to create 25 jobs and expand Pindstrup's production of growing materials by 30%. 

Businessmen and high officials alike looked on with fascination as Grandmaster Reizniece-Ozola and Pindstrup CFO, Tomas Guldberg Hansen (himself a keen chess player) faced off behind their serried ranks of chessmen board in honor of Forest Gold, a mixture of peat and wood fiber.

Reizniece-Ozola continued her recent hot streak by "convincingly defeating" her opponent, the company confirmed to LSM.

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