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Olympic Park to receive TGA quality assured turf

Lawn Turf Supplier The Turfgrass Growers' Association has won a three-year campaign to ensure that turf at the Olympic Park is supplied by a member of the organisation.

The tender documents for turf for the Olympic Delivery Authority (ODA) have specified that "the supplier shall be a member of the Turfgrass Growers' Association (TGA), to TGA quality standards".

The Turfgrass Growers Association (TGA) is the only professional organisation in the UK and Ireland dedicated to the advancement of quality turf production.

TGA chief executive Tim Mudge said: "We are pleased that the work we've put in over the past three years has led to the TGA being recognised as the professional body for turf supplies to the Olympic Park project. The turf was specified by the parklands design team after recommendations were made by the TGA... The contractors delivering parklands for the ODA will know that the turf they buy has been grown to meet specific demands of the lawn areas in the park."

Mudge represented the turf industry on the Greening the Games committee alongside Horticulture Week, the HTA, BALI and other industry partners that had pledged support for the campaign for a lasting legacy for UK horticulture.

Formed in 1995, the TGA comprises some 60 companies (including affiliates), collectively responsible for producing approximately 70 per cent of the cultivated turf grown in the British Isles and supplying specialist knowledge and infrastructure to that industry.

Recently it has widened its scope of activities and has been involved in discussions with Government departments, water companies and other related bodies about the impact of water restrictions on the turf industry. The TGA has also been on the steering group of the ‘Greening the Games’ committee which is playing an important role in making sure the landscaping aspects of the 2012 Olympic Games are properly recognised by organisers and contractors.

Since its formation, the TGA has been at the forefront of raising the standard of the cultivated turf supplied to professional and domestic customers. This goal is being achieved by constantly seeking to improve the standards of TGA members through unity of purpose and the sharing of knowledge and new ideas. To maintain standards at a consistently high level, all applicants for membership receive a personal visit and are vetted by the governing council of the TGA.

One of its principal missions is to help members improve their standards as turf growers and businesses. Regular members meetings are held at which invited speakers inform and educate members on a wide range of turf-related topics. The TGA also stages a biennial turf show, giving turf professionals the opportunity to see at first hand the latest techniques and innovations for establishing, growing, harvesting, handling, transporting, laying and maintaining cultivated turf.

By publicising and implementing the TGA quality standards, first published in 1996, the TGA has instilled a discipline amongst its members that has helped give customers confidence in the product they buy. The Quality Standards for Cultivated Turf were drawn up by independent turf consultant and agronomist, Robert Laycock.

ODA project sponsor for parklands and public realm John Hopkins said: "We really appreciate the support of the TGA. Contracts are being, or about to be, let for soft landscape supplies and implementation across the park and we want to work with the best."

The Lawn Shop supplies TGA approved turf. Turf quality that can be assured year on year.

Source: Horticulture Week and Turfgrass Growers Assoication

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