Meetings have been held

Industry trade associations the Grounds Management Association (GMA), the British International Golf Greenkeepers Association (BIGGA) and the Agricultural Engineers Association (AEA), released a joint statement last week ahead of the GMA's SALTEX exhibition. 

The associations said that in recent months round table discussions have taken place between themselves, with the collective view of all three being they should " . .be open to looking at how, on a proactive and collaborative basis, we can work better together."

They were at pains to point out though, that a merger between the two professional sports turf organisations, GMA and BIGGA, as has been spoken about in the past, "is not a part of discussions".

Published in the week of one of the industry's major national events, the statement addressed the issue of shows, pointing out how the GMA and BIGGA organise our industry's two highest-profile exhibitions (SALTEX and BTME). The joint statement said, "The revenue generated by these events provides significant re-investment into the communities both bodies serve. On a wider level, we wish to gain an understanding of the competing pressures that businesses in our sector face in a period that has created economic uncertainty and risk, and in turn the impact on exhibitions and events."

The associations confirmed that both events " . .will continue for the foreseeable future."

The statement then continued, "Our associations are all aligned towards building a better industry, and we believe by collaborating that we can create good foundations to build from and to support the vital work individuals, teams and companies do more effectively
"Our most recent round table was encouraging, as all represented had a sense of responsibility, an understanding of the issues and a willingness to underpin our shared objectives to create a vibrant and buoyant sector."
The statement concluded, "The three associations have committed to renew a conversation with the industry in general and will be appointing an independent research company to conduct a detailed survey to gather the input of those working in sports turf, including our respective members, and to discover whether a new approach where everyone can benefit is required. 
"In these tumultuous times we invite associations, companies, and individuals to join the conversation and to help create a new era of co-operation so we can raise the profile, the status, and the standing of this passionate and outstanding sector."

The statement was signed by the CEOs of all three associations - Geoff Webb, Jim Croxton and Ruth Bailey, .

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