Spring 2015

‘TenCate is a good sparring partner’

TenCate Grass develops and produces synthetic grass yarns and backing for sport and landscaping applications. Companies further up the value chain are responsible for the marketing, sales and installation. One of these is Sports & Leisure Group, and projects far beyond national borders have been realized with this company. 

Over the last few years demand for synthetic turf for landscaping applications has grown significantly. This trend is set to continue in the years ahead − certainly in Europe and the Middle East. The growth can be partly attributed to the retail and web shops. In these channels the focus lies on the carpet instead of the installation. TenCate supplies customers in both channels with the right product and recent investments have enabled the company to accommodate the growth and market demand. 

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The Harlequins Hockey Club in Belfast is highly satisfied with its new semi-water-based field of synthetic turf (© Copyright DOMO Sports Grass) 

In landscaping we make a distinction between private (residential) and landscape applications.  As a rule the private user who has a lawn wants this to look green and well kept. Quite a tall order if water is scarce or the garden is shady or intensively used– for example by children playing games or sports. To an increasing extent consumers are heading for do-it-yourself stores and garden centres for their synthetic turf. Important criteria when purchasing synthetic turf are a long lifespan and a natural springy appearance that is UV-resistant for a considerable number of years and is not going to fibrillate (fiberize). Many parents feel it is important that synthetic turf is suitable for sport and games and is safe for children.

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Naturally quality plays a role, but the end-user cannot always evaluate this at first sight – as John Penninck (photo © Copyright DOMO Sports Grass), managing director of Sports & Leisure Group in Sint-Niklaas (Belgium), knows only too well. ‘Assessing quality is difficult for the consumer,’ he says, ‘so we have to work hard on our image and communication.’ For example, visits to China have taught him that several suppliers there have very different views on raw materials, production and quality. ‘You must offer a good product coupled with a good guarantee for eight to ten years.’ 

Sports & Leisure Group is a leading manufacturer of synthetic turf and is part of the International Domo Group. The landscaping market in particular is growing steadily, while the sports market is relatively stable, with the exception of hockey. The group supplies two brands: Domo Sports Grass and FUNgrass. Fields from Sports & Leisure Group have been installed in 45 countries. ’ A ‘prominent customer’, S&LG has been buying synthetic grass yarns and backing from the Grass group for years. 

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Synthetic turf for German football club TSC Eintracht Dortmund (© Copyright DOMO Sports Grass) 

All in all John Penninck is especially happy with the quality, delivery reliability and service of TenCate Grass. In addition there is the good personal contact. ‘TenCate is a good sparring partner, with whom we can most certainly consolidate our growth even further.’   

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