‘Sod it with Sovereign’ I always thought a catchy marketing slogan. Sod is the American word for what we call turf in England. As turf growers we fear water shortages and droughts as it impacts quite severely on our markets and makes production more problematical. Today a warning of potential hosepipe bans in the South of England, part of our marketplace, was issued by Southern Water. Reservoirs are low after this autumn has delivered much lower than average rainfall.
This is one reason we as a business must seek out alternative revenue streams – to reduce our reliance on turf sales. We have a few ideas that centralize around a certain part of the farm which in our opinion lend itself to what is becoming termed as agri-tourism. However today we find out that this may not be possible, potentially denying us the opportunity to develop that particular strand – sod it!
Progress is never straight line and we have to keep trying to find work arounds.
We have also heard back today from one tender out for next year’s vegetable programme. Price rises are much sought after to make this a more attractive proposition but as expected would be fiercely contested. We made zero pounds from this contract over the last year and remains a high probability that we will not continue to service this moving forward.
The key I think to business is never become so reliant on one customer that you can’t say no. We have options and can walk away all be it not our first choice but as of today we haven’t received our registered charity number and therefore do need to make some money if we are to survive. On a further conversation with a different customer we appear to be operating in a slightly more favourable environment. Perhaps there is hope in developing a new strand moving forward with them?
A recent Facebook conversation around the price of butter revealed interesting views from our public. We farmers should be happy to run our businesses as a way of life and shouldn’t expect to make a profit as it’s deemed greedy. An interesting concept I thought. I wonder if that view would remain if they went hungry?
Anyway – if you are involved with landscaping, sod it with Sovereign, it’s flipping good turf at the moment. 😊