Turf & Rec

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Progress made for sod farmers marketing board


September 24, 2017
By Mike Jiggens

The Nursery Sod Growers Association of Ontario (NSGAO) has received confirmation that the Ontario Farm Products Marketing Commission will proceed with an expression-of-opinion vote to gauge support for the proposal and establishment of the Turfgrass Farmers of Ontario Marketing Board.

The NSGA presented its proposal to the commission in August, backed by the support of its members and industry stakeholders.

The main purpose of the proposed organization is to promote the production and marketing of turfgrass sod in Ontario and to advocate, promote and conduct research for the turfgrass industry.

In recent years, Ontario sod producers have seen little to no growth in the marketplace as well as declining sales. Lower housing starts and smaller lot sizes are affecting new home installation sales. The province’s pesticide ban and watering restrictions have negatively influenced sod purchases by homeowners as well as municipal and project decision makers.

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The NSGA engaged the marketing promotion firm Edelman to perform consumer market research on the perceptions of turfgrass sod. The results confirmed that an education gap exists regarding the environmental and wellness benefits of turfgrass in general. The mission of the Turfgrass Farmers of Ontario will be to fill the educational gap through a major marketing campaign to the benefit of all turfgrass stakeholders.

The proposal can be viewed at www.nsgao.com under “ON Sod Marketing Board.”