INDUSTRY INITIATIVE LAUNCHED Wanting to help in terrible times by TurfPro Editor, Laurence Gale MSC, MBPR
Just about emerging from the terrible world Covid pandemic, we are now facing another global catastrophe resulting from the invasion of Ukraine by Russia.
I cannot put into words what I think about Putin and his cronies in Russia. It’s a terrible situation that is pure horror for the people of Ukraine. Alongside this, we can all see what is happening, with the escalation into a series of global problems in terms of the supply of fuel and resources - let alone the prospect of a further conflict of war in Europe.
This war is pushing the price of gas, oil and other vitals to record high levels not seen for years.
The consequences of this war will directly affect every sector, including our own. I see for example, that NFU Scotland has warned the huge surge in fertiliser prices has made business planning and nutrient management a 'financial nightmare' for farmers and growers.
They say how nitrogen fertiliser has rapidly increased in price, from just over £200 per tonne last spring to around £700 per tonne by the end of autumn 2021.
Phosphate and potash prices have also increased by over 70 percent over the same period.
Farming UK have also pointed out how grain prices have also been rising, but not to the same extent, leaving farmers questioning how fertiliser and other input cost increases can be managed and absorbed.
As my colleague Steve Gibbs explained in his recent blog in our sister title Service Dealer, the stock levels of machinery you’ll find in your local professional dealership could be influenced by by this disater.
Steve said, “Everyone in our sector is still acutely feeling the effects that the pandemic has had on delivery of stock. The way that production and shipment of wholegoods and components around the world is so intrinsically interconnected in the modern age, has been highlighted by empty shelves and waiting customers. Almost regardless of where a machine is principally manufactured, if there's disruption in the chain, the bumps are inevitably felt somewhere down the line.
"Now with the invasion of Ukraine by Russia, there is another, horrific, disruption to the natural movement of the world's economy.”
He said, “The economic sanctions that are imposed resulting from the invasion are already affecting business. The sanctions have driven up fuel prices to unthinkable levels. This is making it more expensive to operate machines, deliver equipment to our customers and keeping our sales reps on the road. If you throw in the price increase in commodities such as aluminium, steel and copper, which are used to manufacturer much of the equipment we sell, it makes for a bleak future”.
I’m sure all our turf professional readers will have already seen the price of fuel hit their budgets – along with similar price hikes to grass seed and fertiliser products. Most manufacturers will also be counting the cost of these rises in energy, raw materials and fuel costs, which as we all know will eventually have to be passed on to their customers and consumers.
With all this considered I’m sure we all want to do what we can, however small it may seem, to help.
The message we’re hearing now regarding what is of the greatest benefit to give, has shifted from physical items to money. Cash, given to the correct places, seems to do the most direct good to help suffering Ukrainians - which is what we all want.
A truly great place to donate money right now is the British Red Cross. We can be confident that money donated here, is making a difference on the ground. As they say on their website, they are part of the Disasters Emergency Committee (DEC), which unites 15 member charities who are experts in humanitarian aid and specialists in different areas of disaster response.
As such, in wanting to play a small part in helping where our industry can, the owners of TurfPro, TAP, are pledging to give 100% of new advertising revenue generated across all out titles throughout the month of April to this amazing charity.
This is all additional advertising revenue gained from this TurfPro Weekly Briefing, TurfPro's website, Service Dealer Weekly Update, Service Dealer Ireland Update, Service Dealer's website, and the Garden Trader website. All of our digital channels.
TurfPro owner Duncan Murray-Clarke said, "We are not political, but what we're seeing in Ukraine isn't a political issue - it's a humanitarian crisis.
"We felt we had to do something and thought that donating all new digital advertising revenue earned in April, could be a way of our industry coming together to offer some help to the people of Ukraine.
"For our industry colleagues we hope this will be a way for them both to get across whatever messages they want to the UK turf professional community, whilst at the same time directly donating to an organisation that has teams on the ground, distributing aid directly to those who most need it.
"I know first hand how friendly and caring this sector can be, so I'm confident we can raise a significant contribution."
You can watch Duncan explain more on the Service Dealer YouTube channel below.
I agree wholeheartedly with Duncan. I think this is a tremendous initiative and one that I hope can generate a decent sum for the Red Cross.
For more information, please contact Nikki (details below), who'll be able to help you with prices.